Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Public Works officials Thursday announced a sustainability pilot project in which a portion of First Street between Grand Avenue and Hope Street was resurfaced with recycled plastic asphalt.
The recycled plastic asphalt applied to the downtown street is made with TechniSoil Industrial’s Neo binder, which is infused with plastic from water bottles and has the potential to reduce the use of petroleum in asphalt, according to Public Works officials.
Additional benefits include reduced energy input, fewer truck trips, increased recycling of existing roadway and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, officials added.
“Los Angeles is where the world comes to test its best ideas, where the latest innovations in sustainability find a proving ground, a laboratory and a home built into the very fabric of our city,” Garcetti said. “With this technology … we can move closer to our most ambitious climate goals, improve the way we deliver high-quality city services and pave a path to a greener future.”
The program is part of the goals set in the Los Angeles’ Green New Deal, Garcetti said, which is a plan to combat climate change by implementing multiple environmental initiatives.
Led by the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services (or StreetsLA) and working with TechniSoil Industrial, the application of recycled plastic asphalt is the first of its kind on a major city street, the mayor said.
Lab tests indicate the road it produces may be five to six times the strength of a traditional asphalt road and will last two to three times longer, generating 50% in savings to taxpayers over the road’s lifecycle, according to Streets LA.
As part of the project, StreetsLA officials said they will evaluate the durability and performance of the product under conditions of heavy vehicles, where deep rutting and deformation of the roadway has resulted. About 150,000 plastic water bottles could be reused per lane mile.
“This project is just one example of the innovation and integration StreetsLA is pursuing to make our streets safe, mobile and sustainable,” StreetsLA General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said.
“If this test performs the way we expect it to, it can open the doors to an entire local marketplace for recycling of waste plastics, with the extra benefits of reduced pollution and smoother rides on the streets of L.A.”
More information on the Neo binder is available at neopave.com.
More information on StreetsLA projects is at streetsla.lacity.org.