A trial testing the use of crumb rubber asphalt on highly trafficked roads has won the Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Award at this year’s National Transport Research Awards.
The East Boundary Road Crumb Rubber Asphalt Demonstration Trial – a collaborative initiative from the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), Tyre Stewardship Australia, the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association and the Department of Transport Victoria – tested different mixes of crumb rubber asphalt on a well-trafficked road in Melbourne’s south-east.
While already a proven technology on country roads, the project aims to increase opportunities to use crumb rubber asphalt on highly trafficked roads.
The judging panel said the trial was a perfect example of what can be achieved when a group of diverse organisations work together to challenge established methods.
With the equivalent of 1600 car tyres used, the results have the potential to produce major environmental and economic benefits, and also encourage other to look for more innovative solutions for the use of recycled materials in infrastructure projects.
Tyre Stewardship Australia Chief Executive Lina Goodman said she was “honoured” to receive the award.
“TSA has committed over $6 million to new market initiatives that aim to increase the consumption of crumb rubber in Australia,” she said.
“The East Boundary Road demonstration project is no exception, it will consume 1600 used tyres, but importantly showcase the heightened performance to the sector.
“If we can use end-of-life tyres to make better performing, longer last roads, it’s a true circular economy in action.”
Goodman added that while Tyre Stewardship Australia helps facilitate this work, it takes collaboration and participation to turn ideas into action.
“Our research funded projects and collaborations with industry partners and authorities have evolved and we now see real tangible outcomes taking place,” she said.
“From the brands that contribute to the scheme, right through to the road sector who deliver on projects, we are all working together to lead the way in sustainability and resource recovery. So this award is shared with them.”
The annual awards, hosted ARRB, recognise research excellence across Australia’s roads, transport and mobility sectors.
The 2020 awards were held and presented via a virtual awards broadcast on Thursday 19 November.