The National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) most recent sustainability survey shows 77.2 million tons of recycled materials were used in new asphalt pavement mixtures during the 2015 construction season.
“Asphalt pavements are already recycled at a greater rate than any other material, but we are not content with that,” says Dan Gallagher, 2017 NAPA chairman and vice president of Gallagher Asphalt of Thornton, Illinois. “We continue to seek out and put to use practices and technologies that deliver high-performing roads, both in terms of drivability and sustainability.”
The survey, conducted by NAPA and the Federal Highway Administration, has been collecting this data since 2009. This most recent edition included responses from 214 companies having 1,110 plants in 48 states and Puerto Rico, as well as data provided by state asphalt pavement associations for 33 states. The full report is available at asphaltpavement.org/recycling.
Warm mix asphalt (WMA) use also is a key highlight of the survey, with these mixes making up 32.8 percent of all asphalt pavement mixes produced in 2015.
“The use of warm-mix asphalt technologies is becoming commonplace. In 14 states, more than half of all asphalt pavement mixtures were produced as warm-mix asphalt, and in four of them, more than 75 percent was produced as warm mix,” says NAPA President Mike Acott. “This said, there is room to increase its use, and we expect road owners to continue to embrace these technologies for their construction and performance benefits, as well as the energy savings they bring.”
Other results of the survey:
- More than 75 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1.9 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) were used in new asphalt pavement mixes.
- 7 million tons of RAP were used as aggregate, cold mix and “other” road-building activities.
- 85 million tons of RAP were stockpiled for future use at the end of 2015.
- Reclaiming and reusing RAP and RAS saved roughly $2.6 billion in asphalt cement and aggregate compared to virgin asphalt binder and aggregates.
- More than 1.1 million tons of ground tire rubber, steel and blast furnace slags and other waste materials were used in creating 8 million tons of asphalt pavement mixes.
- 119.8 million tons of WMA was produced in 2015, 5 percent more than the year before and more than 614 percent more than when the survey first started in 2009.
NAPA is already calling on U.S. asphalt mix producers to provide responses for this year’s survey, with a deadline of April 30.
The survey is available online at surveymonkey.com/r/RMWMASurvey2016, and a printed version is available at goaspha.lt/2016NAPA-FHWASurvey.
The association says data collected is kept confidential and only used for determining quantities. “State-level data is reported only if three or more companies from the state or territory participate,” NAPA says. “No company-specific information is disclosed or used for any purpose.”