2009 Awards: Mojave National Park Repavement of Zzyzx Road
Mojave National Preserve (NP) paved 4.1 miles of dirt road (Zzyzx Road) with recycled asphalt cuttings. Mojave NP diverted and reused 14,000 tons of asphalt cuttings that would have been sent to a landfill. The asphalt cuttings came from a highway resurfacing project on Interstate 15 that borders the Preserve. The cuttings were given to and delivered to Mojave NP at no costs. Mojave NP’s staff developed a paving contract with a very flexible schedule so that the paving could occur immediately after delivery of the asphalt. Visitors to the picnic area at Zzyzx and to the Desert Studies Center now have a greatly improved road that will last many years. The paving of Zzyzx Road has reduced the generation of dust and particulate matter, in addition to yearly maintenance costs. The cost savings to taxpayers for using the recycled asphalt material as opposed to using new asphalt with aggregate to pave the road was estimated at $1,440,000 to $2,050,000. Environment savings from this project include a potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by not transporting the 14,000 tons of material to a distance landfill, plus the conservation of our diminishing resources of aggregates and petroleum products. A short section of the road was left unpaved to preserve natural springs in the road that are used by a herd of Desert Bighorn Sheep and to reduce the speed of the vehicles traveling through area used by the sheep.