LANSING — A number of grants are on their way to help make the rubber meet the road in a whole different way.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently announced that it’s awarding over $2.9 million to help develop new uses for old tires. Here in the U.P., Michigan Technological University will receive over $280,000 to help research better ways to use scrap tire rubber in asphalt and concrete.

The grants will also help fund some downstate road projects which will use recycled tires in rubber-modified asphalt. Officials say scrap tires create a risk of fire and serve as mosquito breeding grounds when dumped as litter.