Muskegon, Mich., is teaming up with Michigan Technological University to assess the durability of roads made with concrete mixes that replace up to 15% of the fine aggregate with ground tire rubber. If the pilot can prove the modified mix leads to more durable concrete, it could unlock opportunities to grow the market for rubber-modified concrete and pave the way for rubber to become a “normal additive,” according to the city.



MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon is trailblazing a major recycling initiative with a road project that will use more than 10,000 scrap tires.

While scrap tires have been used before in asphalt paving, Muskegon will be the first community in the state to use them in concrete when it repaves a portion of Sherman Boulevard next summer, according to Muskegon Assistant City Engineer Joel Brookens.

The city is working with Michigan Technological University to use ground up tires in concrete mix as part of a pilot project that recently received state funding.The concrete/tire mix will be used on one of five lanes of Sherman Boulevard that will be repaved from Seaway Drive nearly to Barclay Street in summer 2023, Brookens told MLive.

The lane will be compared with the other four for durability as part of Michigan Tech’s testing of the concrete mix. The mix will replace up to 15% of the fine aggregate with ground tire rubber.Professors with Michigan Tech contacted Muskegon to determine its interest in testing the scrap tire concrete, Brookens said.

Muskegon prefers to repave major streets with concrete for more durability, and apparently is one of few smaller communities in the state to do so, he said.“(Michigan Tech professors) have been wanting to put this on a road project for the last couple of years,” he said.

The city recently received a $318,344 scrap tire market development grant from the state for the project, which has an overall cost of $1.3 million.