Trying to find a use for worn tires, the state wants to determine what happens when the rubber again meets the road.
Hardin is one of five Kentucky counties participating in research to compare performance of conventional blacktop with a rubber-modified asphalt.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is investing more than $500,000 to see if this crumb rubber from waste tires can make a difference in road life. The study will determine if benefits outweigh the cost difference.
The cabinet plans periodic monitoring with both long-term and short-term tests to determine its effectiveness.
This five-year study acknowledges that only time and usage tell just how well this road wears. It’s hoped it provides a reliable way to stretch tax dollars and get more miles of paving accomplished.
The award, which comes to roughly $90,000, is financed by the Waste Tire Trust Fund. Established by the 1998 General Assembly, it collects a $2 fee for all used tires.
The state money will be matched by county government which will spend roughly $70,000 for an equivalent amount of conventional surfacing to use for the comparison tests.
With about $400,000 of the county’s annual $2.5 million road fund budget going to resurfacing, agreeing to participate in the test was no small undertaking.
Regardless of the final outcome, for now it’s a plus for motorists using Cecilia-Smith Mill Road. It’s another mile that doesn’t have to wait for resurfacing and it uses up some discarded tires. Even in the short term, that’s a positive development.
This editorial is a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.