Saving money by downgrading asphalt to gravel.

Some rural Michigan counties are converting their paved roads to gravel, because they’re much cheaper to maintain. I live on a gravel road, and it always grates when developers buy a bunch of land and then offer to pay the cost of paving the existing gravel road that leads to it, knowing that it will increase the value of their land. That’s no gift—that’s just passing along a huge financial burden to the state. In the long run, the cost of maintaining infrastructure is infinite. (Via Slashdot)

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “Saving money by downgrading asphalt to gravel.”

  1. I’m moving to a state maintained gravel road off of US-15. I was heading south towards haymarket and saw a sign saying “Rte 15 widening proudly paid for by Toll Brothers” which made me want to scream.

    Toll Brothers, imho, is one of the largest of the groups that took advantage of the recent bubble to build monstrosities all over Northern Virginia. Read: 5k sq ft houses with brick facade and siding on the other 3 sides that look like hodge podge nightmares of lumped clay with windows in them. All that from “the low $400s”

    Gag me with a spoon.

    I look forward to more gravel roads and more urban contraction (e.g. what is happening in Flint, MI). Well planned, walkable, non sprawl systems surrounded by countryside are where sustainability lies, imho.

  2. This seems like a genius move until you remember that in five years these same counties will pay out the nose to repave the same roads once their tax revenues pick back up.

  3. John,

    You look forward to Flint, MI? The same city that was in state receivership from 2002 until 2004? If by “urban contraction” you mean “economic collapse, infrastructure destruction, population and commercial flight, rampant corruption of politics, rampant crime rates, and thousands of abandoned and vacant properties” then yes, urban contraction is awesome. Anyway…

    I don’t have a plan with urban sprawl, rather with bad urban planning. As people move away from deteriorating cities, the abandoned infrastructure needs to be taken out and the land restored. And if an area happens to not have as much traffic as it used to, then downgrade the roads too if it’s cost effective.

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