The asphalt on the newly repaved South Wentz Street may be black, but a city official called it a “green street.”
Crews paved the street Saturday using ground rubber in the asphalt — a way to extend the life of the street and remove unwanted tires from the refuse stream.
“Typically an asphalt street should have a 15-year life, but this should have at least a 20-year life if not longer — it should last at least 25 percent longer than the standard asphalt street,” Wapakoneta Engineering Department Supervisor Mary Ruck said. “We also call a ‘green street’ because 600 to 700 tires have been taken out of the landfills, ground down and used to pave the street.”
Along with extending the life of the street, motorists and nearby homeowners should notice a second benefit.
“They are going to notice it is a lot quieter,” Ruck said. “They will also notice it is a little bit softer and has a little bit of a bounce to it.”
She compared the asphalt to the special asphalt used on the walking track at Veterans Memorial Park, which uses a special mixture to make the asphalt better for the walkers and runners.
Ruck reported the Shelly Co. signed a contract for approximately $134,000 for the street paving project, $3,000 below the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Tire Amnesty Grant of $137,000 to pave the street. She said the $3,000 would be returned to the state.
Seneca Petroleum Co. District Sales Manager Larry Palmer drove from Toledo to oversee the placing of the asphalt.
“The roadway should be a little quieter and be a darker black longer so it will also help with snow and ice removal because it absorbs the sun’s rays and melts the ice a little quicker,” Palmer said. “I don’t know if the residents will notice the difference but it is approximately 4 to 6 decibels quieter than the typical asphalt street.”
The grant covered paving South Wentz Street from approximately Douglas Street, or where it dead end’s into the park, to Middle Street.
The recycled rubber is pulverized into a near powder material compared to bits of rubber as used in previous recycled tire and road paving projects.
The grant received the blessing of Wapakoneta City Council, which is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building, 701 Parlette Court.