After the completion of major construction on two major freeway upgrades, motorists across Melbourne are enjoying more reliable and safer trips on new roads bound together by old truck tyres.
The Victorian and Australian governments delivered the M80 Upgrade between Sydney Road and Edgars Road a year ahead of schedule, and Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade on time and on budget, ensuring a smoother road network across greater Melbourne.
These vital projects have also set a new standard for the use of recycled materials, with old truck tyres used for the first time ever to upgrade Victorian freeways.
Together, the M80 and Monash Freeway upgrades have used 66 tonnes of crumb rubber, made of ground-up truck tyres, as binder called Olexocrumb in asphalt. Every tonne of binder includes the equivalent of 15 recycled passenger tyres.
This marks the first time that it has been used as a substitute for polymer modified binder in open graded asphalt on a Victorian freeway. The product’s use has prevented almost a thousand end-of-life tyres ending up in landfill or stockpiles.
An estimated 56 million passenger tyres reach end-of-life in Australia annually, with a quarter of these from Victoria. Up to a third end up in landfill or stockpiles.
The equivalent of 662 car tyres were included in the Olexocrumb binder on the M80 Ring Road between Sydney Road and Edgars Road.
As part of the Monash Freeway Upgrade, the project installed 460 tonnes of asphalt containing Olexocrumb on the four lanes on the Eastlink bridge.
The State Government’s ecologiQ program helped drive the use of crumb rubber on the M80 and Monash freeways, in line with its ambition to integrate as many recycled materials in transport projects as possible.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the state is leading the way in reusing, recycling and repurposing waste materials across its Big Build projects and the Monash Freeway and M80 Ring Road upgrades are fantastic examples of this.
“Not only will these two freeway upgrades significantly improve how we travel across Melbourne, but they’re also the first major road projects in Victoria to use old truck tyres as part of their asphalt.”
ecologiQ Director Tony Aloisio said crumb rubber is well known for its performance properties in asphalt and bitumen spray sealing
“We hope its use on these major freeways will help the industry shift towards seeing recycled products as the new normal.”