Better Roads

September 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 14 of 35

Better Roads September 2014 13 E ffective on Jan. 1, 2015, the New York City Department of Transportation will allow asphalt mixes containing 100 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) to be used on city streets. The city government has also ruled that all asphalt mixes under city jurisdiction, including commercial projects that require Building Department ap- provals, with few exceptions, must contain at least 30 percent RAP. With this new law, New York City is blazing a new trail by setting a fl oor for recycled content rather than specifying a maximum allowed content. Here's some commentary from the new law: "The benefi ts of using reclaimed asphalt pave- ment are clear from both a fi nancial as well as environmental perspective. Yet, the city council fi nds that despite its estab- lished use and the clear environmental and fi scal benefi ts, use of reclaimed asphalt pavement at both public and privately owned facilities could increase signifi cantly without sacri- fi cing asphalt strength or jeopardizing local supply. The 30 percent minimum recycled content set forth in this legislation is intended to serve as a fl oor – not as a ceiling." The fi ve boroughs of New York City use asphalt from nine different plants. One of them, a plant in Long Island City, has successfully made asphalt with 100 percent RAP for commer- cial customers since 2011. Another hot mix plant, in Flushing, New York, routinely makes mixes using 60 percent RAP. "We're hopeful that in the near future, our mixes will comply with the New York City specifi cations," says Michael Capasso, owner and president of Green Asphalt LLC, which owns the Long Island City plant. The plant only makes asphalt containing 100 percent RAP. Capasso sells it for approximately 30 percent less than an all-virgin mix costs. The material is used mostly for parking lots, patchwork, and temporary pav- ing, today. Very little is used for public works projects, but that should change in 2015 with the new ordinance. New Law Permits 100 Percent RAP on Streets The 100 percent RAP plant is owned by Green Asphalt and is located in Long Island City, New York. HighwayContractor by Daniel C. Brown, Contributing Editor

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