Alabama Department of Environmental Management plans to repave state parks with recycled tires

Gov. Kay Ivey Standing With The Dept Of Conservation Holding A Check.
Gov. Kay Ivey with the Dept of Environmental Management with check to repave roads. Phot via ADEM press release.

We all know about reduce, reuse, recycle, but I never would have thought tires could be recycled to pave roads. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is doing just that with a new plan to repave Lake Guntersville and DeSoto state parks. Keep reading to find out more!

We use tires in our everyday lives. They are what makes our cars roll smoothly day in and day out. We are used to putting rubber to the pavement, but never did I think we would use the rubber as pavement. 

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), along with Gov. Kay Ivery and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural REsources (ADCNR), announced a state grant of $829,080. This grant is to be used to repave the roads of Lake Guntersville and DeSoto state parks.

Glowing Orange Sunset Over Lake Guntersville.
A captivating photo of a sunset over Lake Guntersville. Photo via ADCNR Facebook page.

The money for this demonstration project comes from Alabama’s Scrap Tire Fund, which is administered by ADEM. One dollar from the sale of each tire in the state goes into the fund, which is used to remove scrap tires from illegal dumps, along roadsides and other places, as well as to promote the recycling of discarded tires. 

“This is a wonderful use of the Scrap Tire Fund that does what it was intended to do when the Legislature created the fund in 2003 — getting rid of and finding other uses for old tires that were spoiling Alabama’s countrysides and waterways. Plus, it has the added benefit of helping our state parks, which are wonderful resources for all Alabamians,” said Gov. Kay Ivey in a press release.

Aerial View Of Lake Guntersville In The Winter. Golden Hour Lighting.
An aerial view of Lake Guntersville. Lake Guntersville State Park. Photo from ADCNR Facebook page.

What are the benefits to using tires to pave roads?

One of the immediate benefits is that the roads to these state parks will be a lot smoother. Having the roads paved using scrap tires also removes scrap tires from the ecosystem. Tires are not a part of nature; therefore, they do not belong on the sides of roads or in our lakes and rivers. Remember, we are Alabama the beautiful! 

Rubber-modified asphalt can last up to three times longer than regular asphalt. In addition, it is less prone to cracking, pot-holing and degradation. The modified asphalt can handle a wider temperature range as well, possibly creating less icing during freezing weather.

When will the roads be completed?

The roads to both Lake Guntersville and DeSoto state parks are scheduled to be repaved later this year. Once it begins, the project should be completed in around 60 days according to ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blakenship.

The Waterfall At Desoto State Park. A Rainbow Can Be Seen At The End Of Waterfall.
The beautiful falls at Desoto. Photo via DeKalb County Tourism and Heather Harkins Photography.

For more information, be sure to check out Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s website at adem.alabama.gov. 

Also visit Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’s website at outdooralabama.com.

Be sure to check out these articles we have covered on Desoto State Park and Lake Guntersville State Park!

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Written by Joshua Pleasants

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Summer Guffey
Lover of Weiss Lake in the summertime and camping at Cheaha in the autumn.
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