The Israel National Roads Company has paved Israel’s first eco-friendly road. Just over half a mile of road was paved with an experimental blend of asphalt and rubber pellets from 1,900 ground-up used tires.

The paved section, deemed “experimental,” is located on a section of Road 85 in the Galilee, and runs between Acre in the west and Amiad in the east.

The cost of the raw material and the paving of the section is estimated at about $85,000, which is about the cost of a regular road, but the rubber blend will increase the lifespan of the road by one-third.

The rubber-asphalt blend is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

The rubber accounts for three percent of the asphalt blend, but the quantity of rubber could be doubled in future, which would result in the use of almost 4,000 used tires per 0.6 miles of road.

National Roads Company R&D Branch Director Adrian Valentin Cotrus says that the road was paved using know-how and experience accumulated in the US and adapted to Israel’s standards and climate.

According to the Ministry of Transport, three million tires are taken out of service in Israel each year, and millions of tires are scattered at various sites, constituting environmental hazards.