JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Concrete is not something one would ordinarily associate with Yellowstone National Park—a place where they take pride in the pristine. But visitors need walkways and, for the sake of sightseers, there is a need for the city surface here and there.
But what if you could use a high-tech concrete solution? One that not only works in harmony with nature, but spares the environment from the burning of thousands of discarded tires?
Yellowstone has been working with Michelin since 2008, developing innovative ways to utilize the tire manufacturer’s products like Flexi-Pave—a concrete hybrid that literally gulps up water.
Flexi-Pave is made with stones and recycled tires held together by a polymer binding agent. The result is an open-pore design that’s able to absorb 4,000 cubic inches of water per hour.
That means no flooding, runoff, or erosion issues and the ground beneath walkways gets its share of rainwater and snowmelt. The surface is non-slip and ADA-compliant. The integrity of the materials is also not affected by freeze-thaw cycles, making it the perfect solution for cold environs like Yellowstone.
Yellowstone recently finished replacing 4,160 square feet of crumbling asphalt paths with walkways made from the innovative eco-friendly paving material. Visitors to the Old Faithful area likely already noticed the change. Walkways there were replaced in 2015.