On April 22, more than one billion people in nearly 200 countries around the world will celebrate Earth Day to support environmental protection and raise environmental awareness.
At SBCTA, sustainability and care for our county’s environment is a top priority, making every day feel like Earth Day. Not only does SBCTA make our commutes green by encouraging riding the bus or train, carpooling, vanpooling, biking and walking to work; but the various freeway construction crews working to improve our commute throughout the county are also keeping the environment top of mind through the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle.
With freeway improvement projects like the I-10 Express Lanes Project, SR 210 Lane Addition and Base Line Interchange Project, or even the SR 60 Central Avenue Project, crews are working on demolition and reconstruction of bridges, retaining walls, sound walls, utility relocation, and pavement rehabilitation throughout the county. With each of these projects, there’s opportunity to implement sustainable methods of construction and demolition materials through the three R’s.
To meet the growing needs of San Bernardino County and ensure SBCTA is keeping communities connected and people moving, construction demand continues to grow. Technological advances in construction are helping change the way projects are built; and that starts with the materials that are used. New technologies allow for innovative ways to reduce the amount of materials needed for use on projects and this comes through experimenting with new innovations and eco-friendly materials.
Often times, the same materials used to build the original highway or bridge is reused. When appropriate, crews identify materials to be reused within the project based on their condition and reuse capabilities. For example, the wood that crews use to build temporary structures known as falsework is disassembled and reused in other areas of the project once it is no longer needed for a specific construction activity.
When a bridge or wall is demolished, crews collect the rebar and haul it off site to sort and recycle. And when concrete and asphalt are removed from the roadway, it is hauled off site and taken to a nearby batch plant (insert image) for recycling. These materials are ground into smaller pieces and mixed with aggregates like sand, gravel and crushed stone. The end product becomes material that can be used in several other parts of the project like retaining walls and roadways.
Recycling and reusing construction materials helps sustain our environment and reduces or eliminates the need to search for and use new raw materials. This effort also:
It’s SBCTA’s mission to improve the quality of life and mobility for our county’s 2.2 million residents. This Earth Day, and every day, SBCTA is making all transportation modes as efficient, economical, and environmentally responsible as possible – including how we reduce, reuse and recycle construction materials on our freeway projects – ensuring our county’s transportation options are successful and sustainable for generations to come.