Recycled Rubber Sidewalks

Staff | September 28, 2010

Chicago— The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) says it recently began testing two "green" infrastructure technologies: sidewalks made from recycled rubber and solar-powered bus shelters. Crews installed about 550 feet of sidewalk at Sacramento and Franklin boulevards, across the street from the Chicago Center for Green Technology. Additionally, the city's first solar-powered bus shelter was installed near the same corner.

The sidewalks are made of 100-percent recycled tire rubber. The sidewalks, supplied by California-based Rubber-sidewalks Inc., are created with 2-by 2-1/2-foot rectangles that are installed similar to a modular paving system.

CDOT will evaluate the sidewalk system over the next 12 months, measuring its resiliency to heat, cold, precipitation, and foot traffic. Though rubber sidewalks can cost two to three times more than traditional concrete, the department says the sidewalks allow more flexibility for maintenance and repairs, as individual modules can be replaced as needed. They can also be particularly effective in areas where tree roots have damaged concrete sidewalks.