HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — PennDOT is testing a new formula for asphalt that could not only repairs roads but also help the environment.
A new fresh paved road can be your vehicle’s best friend, but over time with severe weather and more, that so-called road to “friendship” could diminish.
“That’s how we end up with potholes and just sort of wear and tear salt and stuff that gets on the road,” PennDOT Press Secretary Alexis Campbell said.
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PennDOT workers are testing a mix they’re using these little plastic pellets made up of waste too difficult for landfills to decompose and putting them in asphalt with the goal of making the pavement last longer.
“We’re trying to do our part to reduce that amount so there’s a product that takes some of that waste plastic and puts it into these small pellets that can be melted into the binder that’s used when we’re repaving a roadway,” Campbell said.
And to help protect our environment.
“You know most importantly we divert waste plastic from landfills and help establish viable markets for this plastic,” Acting deputy secretary highway administration PennDOT Mike Keiser said.
PennDOT laid the first mix of this new pavement at Ridley Creek State Park and now has to monitor and continue to test the surface.
“This material is intended to strengthen the roadway surface without leeching plastic material in the surrounding environment, we will evaluate the material performance over a 5-year period,” Keiser said.
If successful, the Midstate could see the new recycled pavement on State highways and area streets along with a cleaner place to call home.
“So we’re seeing a lot of potential with not only like the sustainability of the environment generally but you know there are things that we use part of this material to make up that binder that’s less petroleum and other things that could potentially be a little more detrimental environmentally,” Campbell said.