By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anyone who’s driven along 35W just south of downtown Minneapolis can’t help but notice the giant piles of busted-up pavement.

Glenn from Burnsville did, so he wrote to WCCO wanting to know: Where does it all go?

“It’s 100 percent recyclable,” says Dave Aikens, a spokesman with MnDOT. “We reuse every scrap of it.”

There are two mountains of concrete, rubble and asphalt along the highway – one is at 15th Street and the other is near 36th Street.

The piles are the old 35W that’s been all torn up in that area.

Every day, a backhoe scoops up the rubble and deposits it into a crushing machine. The old road is crushed in pieces that measure about one-inch.

Crews on-site crush 6,000 tons a day.

That crushed gravel will then be used to create the new roadway over the next few months. It will be the middle layer between sand and concrete when crews are ready to lay down that new section of 35W. (The old roadway was 60 years old.)

“It’s environmentally sound, because we’re not driving trucks in and out of there,” Aikens says. “It saves money, it saves time.”

Crews don’t crush at night because the crushing operation is too loud. That particular section of the project near downtown is scheduled to finish in October.

Aikens suggests people watch the piles dwindle as crews work toward the deadline.

“Maybe that will be a sign of progress,” he says.

Heather Brown