A road made out of rubber in Dickinson County may have started a trend.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy provided grants that allow organizations to repurpose old tires.

“I would say a lot of these are solid technologies that are available but not widely known. They are currently an alternative and we are working to get them to be more known by communities and in road commissions, “said Kirsten Clemens, the Scrap Tire Coordinator for EGLE. “ So we are doing these projects to share the information and grow these types of projects so more of these types of materials are used in the state.”

The Upper Peninsula is expected to get about $800,000 of grant funding.

It will be split between the Dickinson County Road Commission and Michigan Tech University.

“There were nine grants that were approved in the market development grants this year. Two of them have very strong ties to the Upper Peninsula. One of them is with Dickinson County Road Commission. They will be trying a dry pellet process where the scrap tire rubber is in a dry pellet that’s added at the asphalt plant,” Clemens said. “We also have a partnership grant with Michigan Tech and Clear County Road Commission and Bay County Road Commission where Michigan Tech does a lot of the engineering and lab work while Bay County and Clear County Road Commissions both allow us to pave on their roads and allow us to study the projects.”

The $4.7 million grants statewide will also focus on helping to eliminate illegal dumping, support collection of scrap tires, and define scrap tires as a commodity, not waste material.