Calgary

Calgary tries recycled tire sidewalks

Pedestrians in three Calgary neighbourhoods have a new spring in their steps thanks to an experimental kind of sidewalk the city is trying out.
The city is experimenting with recycled tire rubber as the material for new sidewalks in some Calgary districts. ((CBC))
Pedestrians in three Calgary neighbourhoods have a new spring in their steps thanks to an experimental kind of sidewalk the city is trying out.

Concrete is being replaced with recycled tire rubber on Charleswood Drive from Crowchild Trail to Capri Avenue N.W., on Kensington Road N.W. and on 85th Avenue at 24th Street S.E.

During a one-year pilot project, the city will monitor how well the material stands up against Calgary's harsh climate, said transportation engineer Blanka Bracic.

"We'll be watching carefully for any frost-heaving action," she said. "As well, how does the material perform when we put sanding materials or salt or anything like that. How does it respond to being shoveled or swept."

The rubber sidewalks cost about the same as concrete ones, but because they don't crack, they should be less expensive to maintain, Bracic said.

It is expected the new red-tinted sidewalk — which has the appearance of stamped concrete — will direct water into the soil, reducing run-off in storm drains. The rubber also absorbs sound, making streets quieter, the city said.

"We're conserving resources by reusing tires that would otherwise go to the landfill," Bracic said.

The city is encouraging anyone with comments about the sidewalks to call 311.

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