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Bend set to roll out new street-sealing material: recycled tire chips

(Update: Adding video, comments from city transportation director)

More than 14 miles of rubberized chip-sealing planned this summer

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some of Bend’s neighborhood streets are about to get a new kind of facelift.

In a first-of-its-kind project for Bend, the city is planning to seal more than 14 miles of city streets with a new rubberized chip seal.  That’s important because with the severe temperature changes the High Desert can see, roads can crack often, as drivers know all too well.

Maintaining city streets is a never-ending process for David Abbas.

"You don't build them and then never have to touch them again,” the city's transportation and mobility department director told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday. “There's that ongoing maintenance aspect with it."

Soon, Abbas may have a new tool to do that, rubberized chip seal.

"We were looking for a middle of the road-type treatment that was cost-effective, yet durable," he said.

Abbas said this new method, never used in Bend before, is about $70,000 per mile cheaper than a total asphalt resurface.

"We could reseal it again in five, six, seven years,” he said. “But even if we did that twice, we're half of what it would cost to go in and do a reconstruct or do an overlay."

The plan is to start work this summer on 14.4 miles of lower-traffic residential streets.

"So this section is not as bad as that other block there,” Abbas said. “This is more just kind of some block cracking. You can see some crack seal which is in relatively decent shape."

There's also another benefit to this new type of street work.

"It's an eco-friendly treatment, and what I mean by that is for about every lane mile, we're keeping 250 tires out of going to the landfill," Abbas said.

The project is on Wednesday night's Bend City Council consent agenda.

Intermountain Slurry Seal, Inc. was selected to supply chips for this year's work, at a cost of $414,414. The project's goal completion date is August 28.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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