Test Road

Test Road

mapThe IRRF’s first accomplishment was the construction of its green, smart test road in 2012. This road, which connects the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC) to the Anthony Henday Drive (HWY 216), is the first road of its kind in Western Canada. In addition to being constructed on top of nearly one million scrap tires and waste bottom ash, the road is also embedded with more than 250 geotechnical, environmental and pavement sensors to continually monitor the road’s performance in Alberta’s extreme climate conditions. Data from these sensors is collected continuously through an automated data collection system and is then sent via internet to the IRRF’s laboratory at the University of Alberta for analysis.

Currently, IRRF researchers are assisting Alberta Transportation and Alberta Recycling by using the road to explore the feasibility of tire-derived aggregate (TDA) and bottom ash as embankment fill and pavement insulation, respectively. As shown in the schematic below, the road consists of two main sections: one for testing various types of TDA embankment material, and another for gauging the performance of bottom ash insulation in comparison to traditionally used polystyrene. The two control sections adjacent to each test section are also instrumented in the asphalt and the underlayers. The road’s construction diverted thousands of scrap tires from discard at Edmonton’s landfill and saved approximately 103,123 m3 of landfill space. It is the IRRF’s hope that the research conducted here will help preserve land for future generations.

Layout of Test Road

schematic 1