Los Angeles breaks ground on recycled asphalt plant

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with representatives from the city’s Board of Public Works, Bureau of Street Services and the Los Angeles City Council, has broken ground on a new asphalt plant. The new asphalt plant is expected to save taxpayers around $5 million per year and produce more environmentally friendly paving solutions than the city’s existing asphalt plant.

The new plant, expected to be completed by 2018, will cost around $38 million. It will replace an asphalt plant that has been in operation since the 1940s. When completed, the facility is expected to product as much as 700,000 tons of asphalt per year, compared with around 175,000 tons produced by the old facility.

The new plant will use 50 percent recycled asphalt material, an increase from the 7 to 12 percent recycled asphalt used in the current mix. Recycled asphalt is more environmentally responsible and sustainable, and its increased use will reduce the city’s reliance on expensive and energy-intensive raw materials. The recycled material will come from Los Angeles’ own streets as they are repaved.

The city also notes that the asphalt plant’s operations will meet or exceed the latest air quality standards of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the low-impact design will significantly reduce pollutants from stormwater run-off—all at a far lower cost per ton of asphalt than the plant’s 70-year-old predecessor.

“This is a win-win for the city and for taxpayers,” says Board of Public Works President Kevin James. “These important upgrades give us the capacity to produce a much larger amount of recycled asphalt, which is a more environmentally responsible product, and at a significant savings. Producing our own asphalt allows us to guarantee price and quality, enabling us to meet more stringent environmental standards and maintain more of our roads.”