About 1,000 tons of recycled tires will cover a 2-mile section of Alma Street as part of a pilot repaving project in Palo Alto.
The rubber-meets-the-road project is the first of its kind in the city, said Holly Boyd, lead project engineer with the Palo Alto Public Works Department.
The $1.4 million project officially starts April 11, and will cover Alma from Colorado Avenue south to San Antonio Road. It is funded by a $900,000 Federal Highway Safety Improvement grant and $250,000 CalRecycle Rubberized Asphalt grant, plus city street-resurfacing funds.
New curbs, gutters, sidewalks, ADA ramps, guard rails, pavement striping and video-detection traffic signalized intersections are also included. The CalRecycle grant covers the extra cost above that of regular asphalt, Boyd said.
The rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC) has advantages over its ubiquitous cousin, according to Boyd.
"It is supposed to reduce traffic noise. It has been used by Caltrans and the City of San Jose. It is supposed to last longer and get more strength with less depth," she said.
If the surface works well, it could be used in future street-repaving projects, she added.
Linda Clerkson, city public communications manager, said residents might notice a different odor produced by the rubberized asphalt, which is due to the tires.
"But the odor should dissipate quickly," she said.
Grinding of existing pavement begins Wednesday, April 10, and paving is scheduled for April 11 through 13, and April 15.
The trial-project site was chosen because it is near apartment buildings and in straight sections of road, Boyd said. It is coordinated with the recently completed water main project and other utility work in the area.
Residents along the route will also receive 7-day and 24-hour notices in advance of the paving work. Two changeable message signs went up last Friday alerting drivers of the upcoming roadwork, Clerkson said.
The city has provided contact information for questions or comments at email@example.com or 650-329-2295.