I don't know if asphalt ever had any kind of animal products in them, but if they did, then Clinton County might soon have a Vegan alternative for you to drive on.

Some roadways around Fowler will soon have Soy-based asphalt in the roads you drive on.

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HOW can you make roads out of Soy? That lumpy, white, wet brick of mush in the cold coolers at Meijer? THAT'S what we're gonna make roads out of?

In short, yes... sorta.

The science behind it is complicated (or, at least too complicated for my simple brain to break it down), but basically, the oil used in creating asphalt will be replaced with oil from soybeans, and put into the final product that's laid down on the road.

The company behind this "more" organic process of creating asphalt, ALSO claims that the soy-based asphalt (still weird to say) can improve pavement life cycles by up to 40 percent.

Dan Rajzer, who is a soybean farmer from Decatur, told Morning Ag Clips it's a win-win situation.

"Through this demonstration project, we hope to encourage greater use of environmentally sustainable products, like BIORESTOR that maintain our infrastructure and enhance farmer profitability."

Dan used an important word in that quote, though... "demonstration."

For the time being, the soybean asphalt will only be used on a one-mile stretch of Colony Road near Fowler... north of Lansing.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The project is in partnership with the Clinton County Road Commission, the Michigan Soybean Committee, and the Soy Transportation Coalition.

Similar experiments have been run with road sealant in Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska with some success. This will be Michigan's first run at the product.

Should the experiment work, and Rajzer's comments be proven true, further use of the soy-based roadways could move forward, benefiting soybean farmers in Michigan, and potentially NOT having to "fix the damn roads" as much.

Personally, soy-based products aren't really my thing, but if it's beneficial to our roads... bring it on.

Constructing the Mackinac Bridge, 1954-1957

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