Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Wed September 09 2015

Yellowstone Builds Environmentally Safe Path Near Old Faithful

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | September 09, 2015

Yellowstone Builds Environmentally Safe Path Near Old Faithful

TravelPulse file photo

Building a walkway around Old Faithful could be a tricky proposition, but thanks to a new recycled-tire based material, the feat has been achieved in an environmentally safe way.

In true reverence for the site, Yellowstone has installed a new paved walkway that uses a porous, clean and flexible material made from recycled Michelin tires and other ingredients. The material is called Flexi-Pave and is made by a company named KBI.

Instead of using asphalt, the Flexi-Pave provides a more durable and permeable alternative that will be used to preserve groundwater flow and better control erosion in the area. The project was completed in late August and visitors are already utilizing the walkway.

KBI CEO and founder Kevin Bagnall shared the details about the new path system, saying, “The material used to create KBI's Flexi-Pave is completely benign and therefore can be used safely with the delicate aquifers here in Yellowstone. The path allows 3,000 gallons of groundwater to pass per square foot. It also is designed to diffuse the water's force, helping prevent erosion."

Not only is the ability to help prevent erosion a huge benefit of the new walkway, but the material can also withstand the temperature fluctuations at the national park and has proven to be durable with low maintenance requirements.

To make the project even more personal, many of the tires used in the material actually came from Yellowstone’s own fleet of vehicles. Interestingly, the tires used in the project were originally donated by Michelin to the park and have now come full circle as part of a main path near Old Faithful.

In total, the construction team used 900 end-of-life tires to build the 6,400-square-feet worth of walkways.

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