Rubber not only hits the road in Maine, it's buried under it.
The Maine Turnpike Authority's interchange project in Sabattus is consuming 2 million scrap tires from the state's largest tire pile in Bowdoin. H.E. Sargent Inc., the general contractor, is using almost 19,000 tons of 6-inch scrap tire chips as a subbase under the roadbed in place of traditional crushed rock.
It is one of the largest volumes of scrap tires ever used in a road project in the U.S. Recovery Technologies Group Inc., a Guttenberg, N.J., scrap tire processor, delivered the final load to the site in August.
``It was a big project. It was a tough project. It was not easy,'' said John Sciaba, environmental health and safety director for Recovery Technologies.
``We got lucky and had a use for the tires 10 miles down the road,'' said Mike Parker, an environmental specialist for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, who is overseeing the Bowdoin site cleanup. Recovery Technologies installed a processing unit at the Bowdoin site to shred tires for the project.
The Bowdoin site once contained 8 million to 10 million scrap tires, Parker said. The state sued the operator in 1996.