As part of its commitment to the sustainability goals laid out in L.A.’s Green New Deal, Los Angeles became the first city to install recycled plastic asphalt on a city street, writes Haley Rischar.
The concept of recycled pavement panels first took hold close to two decades ago when city leaders in L.A.’s coastal neighbor, Santa Monica, sought a solution to broken sidewalks caused by tree roots. To accommodate the roots and provide a smoother right-of-way for residents, Santa Monica has used rubber panels made from recycled car tires to repair sidewalks constantly under threat from unruly tree roots since 2001.
Now, a segment of First Street near near City Hall is receiving the treatment. The innovative product is infused with recycled PET plastic that “has the potential to reduce the use of petroleum in asphalt.” Although not yet tested on roads, the material promises to have five or more times the strength of normal asphalt and last more than twice as long, saving money and time spent on road repairs.