Does Ground-Up Tire Mix Make for a Quieter Ride?

The in basket: Jack Welch of Kingston wrote a couple of years ago about how nice the ride was he encountered on highways down in the desert southwest that were paved with a mix of asphalt and ground up old tires.
I asked on his behalf about use of that mix in this state and was told there were no plans for it.
But now there are, and Jack spotted it first. He e-mailed again and noted that the mix will be tested on the highway near Everett in Snohomish County. The purpose there is to reduce noise for residents near the freeway.


The in basket: Jack Welch of Kingston wrote a couple of years ago about how nice the ride was he encountered on highways down in the desert southwest that were paved with a mix of asphalt and ground up old tires.
I asked on his behalf about use of that mix in this state and was told there were no plans for it.
But now there are, and Jack spotted it first. He e-mailed again and noted that the mix will be tested on the highway near Everett in Snohomish County. The purpose there is to reduce noise for residents near the freeway.
“I can attest to the fact it makes a huge difference inside a vehicle traveling on this kind of roadway,” Jack said. “I can imagine it will help the
neighbors too.
“Now…if it could just be used for overlay on northbound I-5 between Tacoma
and Seatac…some of the worst, noisiest, car-abusing highway in the state,” he said.
The out basket: I saw a news story on the asphalt test a short time after Jack wrote back, which said one of the main concerns is the impact of studded tires on the recycled tire mix. That’s not much of an issue in the desert Southwest.
It will be interesting to know if the highway stays quiet even if the studs carve the usual ruts into pavement, which is also a car control issue.
I hope it works as well as Jack saw down south and can some day offer relief on I-5 north of Tacoma. I agreed that no other interstate or any other highway I’ve driven on produces as much road noise as there.
I find it’s a lot quieter in the least worn area right next to the lane separation markers where few people drive. I can usually hear what’s on the car radio there.
But that leaves little margin for error when there’s a car in the next lane. You have to trade off the quieter ride for greater risk of banging into another vehicle.

One thought on “Does Ground-Up Tire Mix Make for a Quieter Ride?

  1. didn’t they all ready try this somewhere on the Seattle side somehow the mix caught on fire and burned on and on couln’t be put out. Personally I think it’s a great way to get rid of old tires but I do seem to remember the burning problem

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