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City of Tucson's Cool Pavement project expected to cool down roadways

Cool Pavement project on Country Club road
Posted at 6:12 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 15:36:07-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — There's a new pilot program in town called Cool Pavements that aims to cool down our roadways.

The City of Tucson and the University of Arizona's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture teamed up to collect data and place a rejuvenator on Country Club Road between Broadway and Aviation Highway.

The rejuvenator was placed on Country Club in December of 2021, and before that the team of students and professors from UA collected data on how warm the streets are in our city. The city's sustainability coordinator Paul Rosenboom said the rejuvenator helps keep the road from cracking, cool down the asphalt, lower carbon emission by 60% and keep water from collecting on the road.

"Pavement technologies has developed a coating that goes down in a pale yellow color," he said. "And when it absorbs into the asphalt it acts as a rejuvenator and with the titanium oxide which reflects the sun rays off of the roadways helps to cool it."

It's a two pronged effort by the team as this project is expected to not only help the street from cracking but even cause people to use their cars less as the ground becomes more comfortable to walk on. UA's Urban Planning Professor Nicole Iroz-Elardo said this helps point Tucson in the direction of becoming a more sustainable city.

"We want to make sure the aren’t just making it comfortable overall we want to make sure that we are not unwittingly making it uncomfortable for the walk, bike and walk to transit trips because that’s a part of how we get to net 0 emissions is that we shift out of vehicles," she said.

The team is expected to come back in April to collect more data, which will inform their decision about moving forward with the product on other streets.