Infrastructure is a major but necessary expense in most government budgets, so reducing the amount of taxpayer money needed to pay for upgrading roadways is always a priority.
In Ohio, folks will literally be keeping an eye on the road to see if substantial savings can be realized by implementing “perpetual pavement” when repaving roads in the future.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that “Ohio University researchers plan to test a new road design that they hope might last 50 years or more with nothing but an occasional new coat of asphalt.” If successful, this form of pavement would reduce costs since making extensive repairs below the surface for traditionally paved roads would cost more despite the higher upfront costs for the thicker asphalt layers needed in perpetual pavement.
Testing and monitoring should take about two years to complete, at which point the state’s DOT would presumably move forward with expanding the implementation of perpetual pavement, if tests prove successful. Undoutedly, other states will be keen to hear Ohio’s results to see if it makes economic sense to install perpetual pavement for their respective roadways.
Let’s hope this is a road to savings for government budgets… to be continued!
It’s been one year since a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia struck the East Coast. But if you were involved in it, you probably remember where you were and what you were doing at the time as though it were yesterday.
Fortunately, nobody was reported hurt from the aftermath of the earthquake, and damage in the Philadelphia/South Jersey metro area was fairly minimal compared to the epicenter area a couple hundred miles south of here. Delaware Valley area roads, bridges, and other infrastructure held up overwhelmingly well, though some isolated buildings suffered damage.
An interesting article in Philly.com (by way of The Associated Press) about the earthquake, details some of the effects and statistics pertaining to this monumental event, including these tidbits:
- Due to its proximity to many large cities from North Carolina to New Jersey, the earthquake may have been felt by more people in the United States than any other in history
- Some schools and other organizations are now implementing earthquake drills and/or emergency procedures to prepare for another earthquake that may strike in the future
- The quake caused an estimated $200 million in damage, including $15 million to repair cracks in the Washington Monument, which remains closed indefinitely
All in all, the earthquake, though powerful, could have been a lot worse in terms of damage and casualties, and it serves as a learning experience in terms of preparing for future quakes.
On that note, here’s to many more quake free years ahead…