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L.A.'s new heat repelling road surface

By: Hal Eisner

POSTED: MAY 22 2017 08:33PM PDT

UPDATED: MAY 22 2017 11:06PM PDT

It looks like a light color paint being spread across the street. It’s not paint, though. It is a material known as cool-pavement produced by a Dana Point company from recyclable materials. It was applied to a stretch of road in Canoga Park starting at Jordan Avenue and Hart Street over the weekend for about a quarter mile.

Bob Koleas is TopGuard’s CEO. He says the coating his company says is “… basically an asphalt coating that’s specially designed to reflect the sunlight and the heat. In city’s like Los Angeles and other big urban environments with all the concrete roads we have we absorb all this heat.”

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It was hot all right here in the San Fernando on Jordan Avenue where the first coating went down over the weekend. 95 at one point!

Greg Spotts, an Assistant Director for LA Street Services says, “The world is getting hotter and the city is getting hotter as well. And, as the city gets hotter, we’re at increased risk for heat-related deaths.” Which is why the mayor and council have contributed $150,000 to put a stretch of cool coat in each of the city’s council districts. To test it and see if it makes a difference. Their hoping that it could become cost effective and prove practical, "keeping the city from warming even further,” says Spotts.

20-year-old Cassidy Morgan sees a value in it from a dog-walking perspective. She says, “It makes it a lot more convenient because I have to walk my dogs every day. They don’t even like crossing the street because it gets way to hot out here.”

So, we decided to put the experimental roadway coating to the test. The PUPPY test!

First, Morgan can’t even get the dogs to walk to the street. They know better. But, when it comes to the much lighter looking street surface… Lillian marches across Jordan on all fours as if its not hot even though, when checking the temperature it’s around 133 degrees on the cool pavement side. It’s 158 on the darker normal asphalt side. That doesn’t mean much, really. Or, maybe it does.

Then Cassidy helped us with the barefoot test. She slipped off her sandals jumping back when she felt how hot the normal asphalt side was. The other side she says wasn’t so bad.

She says, “The regular asphalt got hotter a lot faster. The newly painted one still got really hot and it wasn’t as hot and as fast as the regular asphalt.”

Finally, check out the video to see what happened when we tried to fry an egg on both sides.

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