Wednesday, March 14, 2018

a result of higher costs of labor and asphalt than when city streets were originally surfaced? Un-paving. Making dirt roads instead of retopping the crumbling roads that paved in the 50's and 60s

dirt roads don't need to have the stripes repainted.

Dirt roads don't expensive pothole repairs. Just a shovel and some gravel and it's done.

Run a grader across a dirt road and it's smoothed off ... beats the cost of a pot hole machine and team of workers making repairs to potholes and cracks and erosion

Vermont’s capital decided in 2009 to grind up some of the city’s streets and combine the asphalt with underlying gravel. They now save 120k a year. They project to save 1/2 the costs of maintenance for the next 20 years

There have been about 70 such conversions, stretching along 550 miles of road in at least 27 states, according to a 2015 review of the projects produced by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

Resurfacing a paved road in Allamakee County, Iowa, was estimated to cost $100,000 a mile in 2011, but getting rid of the pavement and adding new gravel would only set the county back by $5,000 a mile.

The rural population, after three decades of declining growth, started shrinking in 2010. In America’s metro areas, where more than 4 in 5 Americans live, the road network has been expanding faster than population growth since 1980. That has created an unprecedented maintenance crisis, in addition to facilitating sprawl, harming the environment, undermining Main Street commerce, and draining local budgets.

Not only should we not be building more roads, we shouldn’t necessarily be repairing the ones we have.

Since 1980, according to the Federal Highway Administration, public road mileage rose from 3.86 million miles to 4.19 million. Lane miles rose from 7.92 million to 8.8 million. Both those figures lag far behind population growth. But take a closer look, and a pattern emerges: Rural road miles have actually decreased in that time. All the new roads are urban.

In and around cities, road mileage has grown at exactly twice the rate of population. In 1980, there was a mile of urban road for every 273 residents. Now, there’s a mile of road for every 215. That means fewer people responsible for the money that keeps that mile of road in good shape.

There is even a map you can roll your cursor over to learn the ratio of gravel roads vs paved roads


  1. Even in Central New York, "Upstate NY" for most, you will be hard pressed to find a dirt/gravel road. Even in the most rural areas. Those that are dirt/gravel are seasonal roads that might go deep into the woods, where the grades might get steep.
    Even on roads in the middle of nowhere, they are paved. But the property taxes that we have in NY pretty much demand us to have paved roads....

  2. I used to live in northeast Georgia, in the 80s almost the only paved roads in the county were the state highways, there was ONE county owned road that was paved.

    every one had a dirt bike of some kind, my first bike was a Honda trail 90 that I put 6000 miles on , mostly on dirt roads.
    now they are all paved, you cant find a dirt road anywhere.

  3. after the county paved all the roads, most people who lived on the newly paved roads hated it, the number of cars tripled, and so did the speed they traveled,
    used to have 10 or 15 cars a day past my house, doing 10 or 15 mph

    after the road was paved, there were 50-60 cars a day, doing 40-50 mph