Asphalt has a reputation of being sticky and smelly, but the Department of Transportation on Thursday rolled out a new type of asphalt that is better for people and the environment.
While traditional asphalt has to be heated to 300 degrees before use, the new asphalt can be laid down at 200 degrees – thanks to a chemical called evo-therm. The reduction in temperature allows the DOT to use just a third of the energy in its production.
“This shows great promise. It's certainly the future of resurfacing in this country,” said Galileo Orlando of the DOT.
DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says the product is proving to be so environmentally friendly that instead of calling it blacktop, she calls it “Greentop.”
“We're looking to incorporate innovative ways to be green and be more environmentally sound,” said Sadik-Khan. “That means re-engineering our streets differently and it also means looking at the materials we put on our streets to make sure they are as green and effective as they can be.”
The development can also allow the agency to extend the paving season so more streets can be repaired and more pot holes can be filled.
“We see it as a win-win with the environment, the recycling effort, and the economic savings that this product poses for us,” said a DOT official.
Residents of the Country Club section of the Bronx say no matter the kind of asphalt, they are just happy to have their street resurfaced.
“It’s nice to see something green come into the community,” said one local resident. “We see a lot of green go out in tax money.”
DOT officials say they will take a year to study the effectiveness of the “greentop” and they say if it proves durable, they will start to spread it out throughout the city.