San José Awarded First Greenroads Certification in California

The city resurfaced a historic road with rubberized asphalt made of ground up, recycled tires.

July 25, 2013

The Greenroads Foundation, an independent nonprofit corporation that advances sustainability education and initiatives for transportation infrastructure, has recognized San José, Calif., for employing what the nonprofit says is an innovative and environmentally friendly paving technique to resurface two miles of the historic Monterey Road’s bumpiest segment. Jeralee Anderson, Greenroads’s executive director, will formally present the certificate to the city at the Aug. 20, 2013 city council meeting.

“San José is proud to receive this recognition from the Greenroads Foundation for the city’s ‘green’ transportation leadership,” says San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “From the installation of ‘smart’ LED streetlights to the construction of a 500-mile citywide bicycle network, ‘greening’ our transportation system is a major theme of the city’s ambitious Green Vision. We are pleased to be the first city in California to have a certified ‘green’ roadway project.” 

The process used for resurfacing the road was “cold in-place recycling,” which involves pulverizing the top layer of asphalt, mixing it with an asphalt binder and using the recycled mixture to resurface the street. A new surface layer of rubberized asphalt, made up of ground recycled tires, is laid on top of this surface.

The Greenroads rating system is a collection of sustainable roadway design and construction best practices that address water, environment, access, community impact, construction practices and materials. There are 11 project requirements that must be completed in order for a roadway to be considered a "Greenroad," as well as 37 voluntary credits that a project team can choose to pursue. After a rigorous review process, the Greenroads Foundation assigns a project score based on the number of points earned by meeting the requirements and achieving credits. This score translates to one of four certification levels: bronze, silver, gold and evergreen.