Saving Money By Converting Asphalt to Gravel

In an effort to cut transportation maintenance costs, some cities are ditching their asphalt roads and going back to gravel.

"High costs and tight budgets have prompted communities in Maine, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Vermont to convert or consider converting their cracked asphalt roads back to gravel to cut maintenance costs, officials in those states say.

New technology allows asphalt to be recycled into a durable gravel-like surface that is cheaper to maintain and adequately prevents potholes and mud, said David Creamer, a field operations specialist at the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Pennsylvania State University."

38 counties in Michigan replaced more than 100 miles of road with gravel between 2008 and 2009, and more are planned.

Full Story: Tight times put gravel on the road

Comments

Comments

Good plan

I like this plan for converting roads back to gravel. It restores a rural aesthetic to communities.

However, I do suspect there could be concerns re increased accidents from skidding on gravel. Plus, it's harder for cyclists.

Any input?

I've heard the break-even

I've heard the break-even point for gravel vs. paved roads is about 150 vehicles per day. Above that, the constant regrading to remove ruts, washboarding and potholes is more costly than the cost to build and maintain a paved road. This probably does not include stormwater costs, but gravel roads are not really that permiable, anyway.

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