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De-Paving Roads

The price of asphalt and concrete has risen much faster than city budgets, so some towns are taking a retro approach to fixing damaged roads. Instead of constantly filling in potholes or repaving, they are grinding up the pavement and making gravel roads. Montpelier, Vermont, started doing it in 2009.

Repaving roads is expensive, so Montpelier instead used its diminishing public works budget to take a step back in time and un-pave the road. Workers hauled out a machine called a “reclaimer” and pulverized the damaged asphalt and smoothed out the road’s exterior. They filled the space between Vermont’s cruddy soil and hardier dirt and gravel up top with a “geotextile”, a hardy fabric that helps with erosion, stability and drainage.

Many other towns have turned to gravel roads to dave money in the years since. While gravel roads aren’t the greatest for vehicles, it beats banging your car over potholes every day. Read more about this trend at Wired. -via Digg  

(Image credit: Flickr user NCDOTcommunications

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