October 4, 2011



Rubber-Modified Asphalt Helps Make Roads Greener, More Durable and Cost Effective

ATLANTA – October 4, 2011 – Last week the Georgia Department of Transportation took another big step in environmental leadership when teams laid rubber modified asphalt (RMA), made from recycled tires, in Bibb County on State Route 247. The state is expanding on previous studies with RMA, testing the material’s performance vs. that of traditional asphalt materials in “real-world conditions.”  Currently, Georgia permits rubber modification in certain asphalt pavement type and jobs, but not all. The test is being conducted in collaboration with several Georgia companies:  Reeves Construction, a leader in the heavy highway and asphalt paving industry in Georgia; Liberty Tire Recycling who does the primary processing of the end-of-life tires from Georgia; and Lehigh Technologies who processes the product from Liberty into sustainable micronized rubber powder (MRP) that is added to the asphalt formulation to be applied by Reeves.  The test is being overseen by the Georgia Department of Transportation and supported by NCAT (National Center for Asphalt Technology) and will use approximately 20,000 end-of-life tires. The results from the trial on State Route 247, along with a major study underway at NCAT, will provide objective, controlled data on different asphalt rubber composites.

Rubber modified asphalt is currently being used in a number of states’ roads, including Arizona, Florida, and Texas.  Including recycled rubber into asphalt yields numerous benefits including longer lasting road surfaces, reduced road maintenance and lower road noise to name a few.  Furthermore, using recycled rubber costs less than the non-renewable products it replaces and is considered a green material, utilizing tires that would otherwise be discarded into a landfill.

“For ‘green’ projects, such as the use of RMA, to be broadly successful it requires close collaboration between multiple steps in the value chain,” said Alan Barton, CEO of Lehigh Technologies. “We are very pleased to be working with these forward thinking leaders in industry and government-this is what it will take to make sustainable infrastructure a reality.”

The Georgia DOT has been a vocal supporter of the increased use of RMA in GA. “We believe that rubber modified asphalt can reduce project costs while maintaining quality roads, and at the same time provide a productive outlet for end-of-life tires,” said Georgene Geary, P.E., Georgia Department of Transportation. “It is good to see collaboration among Georgia industry partners to green-up Georgia roads and assist Georgia DOT in maintaining the quality of our roadways.”

Georgia Representative Randy Nix is spearheading statewide efforts to help solve the problem of what to do with end-of-life tires, and has publicly supported the use of rubber modified asphalt in Georgia roads as a productive solution.  ”It’s critical that we move forward with this initiative, proving the value of the science behind these new road options.  The benefits are three fold: environmental sustainability, cost savings for tax payers and jobs for Georgians. I am glad to see that Georgia is making progress towards incorporating this material in our roads. ”
“NCAT is proud and excited to be a part of this project.  It is our goal to help the industry develop asphalt mixtures which are not only environmentally sustainable, but also durable under trafficking.  This project is an opportunity for us to get a better understanding of how ground tire rubber truly influences asphalt mixture properties,” said Richard Willis, Assistant Research Professor at the National Center for Asphalt Technology.


Lehigh Technologies is a leading green materials manufacturer that turns end-of-life tire materials and other post-industrial rubber into sustainable powders that are used in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. Lehigh Technologies is a World Economic Forum 2010 recipient of The Technology Pioneer Award for its visionary leadership and transformational technology. Headquartered in Tucker, GA, Lehigh Technologies is privately held and backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures and NGP Energy Technology Partners. For more information, please visit www.lehightechnologies.com.