Make America Grit Again: poor towns tearing up roads they can't afford to maintain


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The freeze/thaw cycle is much rougher on roads in Vermont than the desert heat is in the Southwest. ISTR that there was a city in the Southwest that saved millions when the realized that the standards used for road construction mandated much thicker pavement than their climate did. Thinner surfaces were cheaper and did not make maintenance worse in the absence of a freeze/thaw cycle.


City folk sure find dirt roads amusing.


Two Lane Brown Top


Few years back we looked at doing something to our dirt driveway to improve it. At the time we dismissed it because it looked like it wouldn’t survive the cold weather… But if what we were looking at was a geotextile and they’re doing it next door in Vermont, between that and the warming climate I guess I should take a second look. I also now wonder if the dirt back road I was on last weekend that had an amazing hard pack was enhanced this way; it was hard as rock, but also perfectly graded and I expect freshly graded dirt roads to still be a little loose.

Edit: Wait, geotextile… Not the same stuff. I was thinking of polypavement.


Perhaps taxes from weed legalization will give states more ability to deal with infrastructure costs than the previous reliance on federal funding. Time will tell.


Every time I’ve visited northern Montana, this has been the norm for small towns.

I don’t believe it to be intentional: they feature long stretches of blacktop turning into potholes into crumbling chunks into finally just what could be graded - if you’re lucky, by whoever owns a plow - in order to keep the mud at bay.


In my rural county west of Houston (80% Trump btw), they tear up bad asphalt and lay down gravel. For rarely traveled roads its fine. Well until some kid tears it up in his hot rod truck.


That’s the name of my new band! :slight_smile:


No need to sweat it – come January, February at the latest, the Donald will have fixed all of these infrastructure problems. And he’ll make Belgium pay for it. Because, y’know, Belgium.


why should a beautiful city pay for something?


I get the point about dismantling infrastructure and don’t deny the major ( did I say major? I meant MAJOR issue in this country), but it is entirely possible communities like this might be better served not spending the resources on this. I grew up with dirt and crushed shell roads and somehow we all still managed to travel from point A to B, and sometimes even C.


Seen this in Mississippi. Rich predominately White-population counties have well-maintained pavement…fresh and nicely painted. Counties with poorer lower-middle class incomes and mixed races have old pavement, potholes, faded paint. Poor counties with predominately Africian-American population has gravel roads everywhere. So a trip along a state-maintained road could be: fresh > old > gravel > old > fresh > gravel > (rinse and repeat) all within a 10 mile drive! -*(



You mean the roads, not the oval office, right? :wink:


There’s one road back home in N. WI that they let go back to gravel because maintaining it was a PITA and costly… The primary reason was that a family built a “compound” (3 or 4 homes back in the woods) off of it and their business is gravel trucks and pulp trucks, so the heavy traffic just took its toll on the road – the gravel surface seems much more forgiving.


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