Test project aims for cooler roads, cooler homes in LA

CANOGA PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles is testing a unique substance designed to keep roads cooler, and the pilot project aims to keep surrounding homes cooler as a result.

A 10,000-square-foot stretch of Jordan Avenue in Canoga Park is coated with the special seal - the first of its kind in California.

The city of Los Angeles is testing the "cool pavement" material on residential streets under a new pilot project.

Greg Spotts, assistant director of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services, took the temperature of regular asphalt in the area and compared it to the temperature of the road that now has the special coating.

"We're seeing about an 11-13 degree temperature difference," Spotts said.

The Los Angeles City Council has set aside $150,000 to lay patches of the cool seal on 15 streets, one in each Council district.

"It's two layers and 15 microns each. It's almost like paint, but it's an asphalt-based product. It only took yesterday an hour to dry the first coat, and the second coat dried even quicker," Spotts said.

The project, a research-based initiative with Lawrence Berkeley Labs in Northern California, is designed to have a public health benefit.

"If cooler pavements reflect less heat into the homes, then the interiors of non-air-conditioned apartments could be cooler and it might save lives. We're also hoping it saves air-conditioning, and therefore, electric use," Spotts said.

Araceli Ortiz lives on Jordan Avenue, where the cool pavement seal has been applied.

"It's going to be great. I mean, you're going to save a bit more energy. It's getting expensive living in apartments now, so hopefully it helps out," Ortiz said.

The city chose Canoga Park as the first area to test the cool pavement, because it's one of the hottest areas in the San Fernando Valley. It's not clear which neighborhood will get the test patch next.
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