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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rubber Sidewalks: A City Pilot Project

Here is Blanka Bracic, a transportation engineer with The City of Calgary, discussing the Rubber Sidewalk pilot program.

Rubber sidewalks are being tested in three locations around Calgary. The sidewalks give the appearance of stamped concrete without the expense or inevitable cracking associated with real concrete.

The City will monitor this pilot and encourages feeback via 3-1-1 from citizens who use the pathway. It is expected the new sidewalk will direct water into soil which reduces water run-off in storm drains and absorb sound, reducing decibel levels of foot and wheeled traffic.

"The anticipated environmental benefits are that it saves the urban forest by eliminating the need for tree removal due to root issues and because it is made with recycled tires diverts this rubber from landfill sites," says Blanka Bracic a transportation engineer with The City.

The cost for the rubber sidewalk is about the same to construct and install as concrete sidewalks but slightly more expensive than asphalt. The life-cycle cost for the rubber sidewalk should be less than the other two materials.

"Most of the rubber materials are salvageable and can be reused after utility cuts or other repairs," says Bracic.

Currently the sidewalks are in three locations across Calgary:

1. Charleswood Drive, Crowchild Trail to Capri Avenue N.W. - multi-use pathway
2. 85th Avenue at 24th Street S.E. - bus pad
3. Kensington commercial area - sidewalk replacement 

The pilot will run through the winter months, if you have any questions or comments please visits or call 3-1-1.

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