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Cool asphalt could help lower Phoenix temperatures

Posted at 11:28 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-03 15:54:42-05

As extremely hot temperatures become more and more common in the Valley, the City of Phoenix is testing out a pilot program to try to combat the effects of the “Urban Heat Island.”

The city’s Street Transportation Department selected portions of eight neighborhoods, including the Garfield Historic District, and Esteban Park to receive a cool pavement treatment. This pavement is lighter in color than the traditional asphalt we drive on, reflecting back the sunlight that hits it during the day. Cool pavement can be in excess of 15 degrees cooler than traditional asphalt during those peak heat times, according to the Street Transportation Department.

This idea came from a similar program in Los Angeles, where they’ve been using cool pavement on neighborhood streets and have shown promising results in dropping temperatures on city streets.

The goal is to test the technology and material to see how effective it can be in reducing street temperatures. This would include the assistance of university researchers, who would collect measurements over several years.

Not only that, but the city also wants to test how durable this pavement will be as it goes through days of excessive heat, thunderstorms, and daily street traffic.

The application of the cool pavement should be completed by early October, weather permitting.

To learn more about the Cool Pavement Pilot Program, click here.