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View Diary: Counties Converting Paved Roads Back to Gravel (328 comments)

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  •  To some extent that depends on usage (14+ / 0-)

    and climate.  I'd be surprised in an area with harsh winters that a road would last that long, especially since the building materials available back then were significantly less sophisticated than what we have now.

    The problem now is that everyone seems to look only at initial cost rather than lifetime cost, so decisions are made for roads and bridges to skimp on things that would improve longevity, even if over time it's a better investment.

    Then on top of that, we wait until a road needs major repairs or replacement, rather than fixing it when the problem is relatively simple and can extend useful life significantly.

    I just don't understand who the republicans think will pay for the roads their "job creators" ~gag~ companies require to survive once they fall apart.

    New favorite put-down: S/he's as dumb as a flock of Sarah Palins

    by sleipner on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:18:22 PM PDT

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    •  Truck traffic makes a big difference, too. (17+ / 0-)

      Heavy trucks really are hard on the roads. Of course, trucks are a big reason for roads, but that has a big influence on longevity of the road.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:38:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I *know* that there are some county roads (12+ / 0-)

      that have rarely seen improvements and/or repairs and are still in decent shape (granted some of the seams were a bit rough, but otherwise good).  Or at least were in the 90's, the last time I traveled some of them.  They were made to last.  And yes, it's a rural area.  I used to drive Iowa 150 from Cedar Rapids to Decorah in 1990 or 91.  One interesting thing is that you can see which farmer chose not to allow/sell land for right of ways.  Some of the roads take sudden right/left turns and then back again.  If you look at a map of Iowa you will see county squares that have the top half offset to the west.  This is to reflect the curving of the earth and maintain lat and long lines.  Some of the roads follow that as well.

      The Burlington bridge over the Mississippi was built in the 30's and it wasn't replaced until within the past 10 years - after someone drove off the bridge in January..... There wasn't enough room to remove all the snow in a timely manner and the bridge is heavily used, the person slipped and went up and over the pile of snow against the rails of the bridge.

      I know what you mean about initial costs being the thing looked at instead of the long term use of the road/bridge.  And not really doing any maintenance/upgrades until absolutely have no other choice to do so.  It costs a whole lot more in 'outside' costs to do upgrades (businesses along said road loosing traffic for longer period of time when the whole thing has to be replaced instead of repaired).  Oh, they'll expect the government to replace the roads and bridges.  With what, I have no idea.... they've bled the gov't dry as it is.

      •  In some way's it's relatable to Medicare age issue (11+ / 0-)

        If you delay eligibility til 67 you save a little cost by the govt, but you incur lots more costs elsewhere, both to the seniors involved and to the hospitals who have to take care of sick uninsured old people.  Then when they finally do get insurance, they have serious chronic problems instead of treatable preliminary problems, which amplifies costs to the government more.

        Buses are also really hard on roads - Santa Monica Blvd always has these nasty ridges in the bus lane that are hellish for motorcycle riders like me.  If it gets bad enough (which it often does) it can damage or even rip out the undercarriage of low rise cars.  My Ford Taurus even bottomed out on it a few times.

        Partly it's because they're using cheap asphalt surfacing, which gets soft & malleable during hot summer days, and bus weight messes it up (again, "cheaper" short term decision vs. correct long term economical decision).

        It seems like most aspects of our society - government, business, and even individuals - are looking at every issue with blinders on that block everything past a couple years into the future.  Anything that falls beyond that is irrelevant, and never considered in any calculation or decision.  It's almost as if the 12/12/2012 Mayan calendar end of the world prediction is attempting to become self-fulfilling...

        New favorite put-down: S/he's as dumb as a flock of Sarah Palins

        by sleipner on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:38:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

          "nasty ridges in the bus lane that are hellish for motorcycle riders like me."

          Something akin to ruts???  We really don't have that problem here on paved roads.  Some, but not much.  That happens more on the gravel roads and alleys during Spring thaw with frost heave.  Some of the concrete will blow out if it gets too hot, or something about water under the pavement expanding too quickly.

          I know what you mean about short term gains that end up costing more in the long run.  Both of my grandmothers grew up on farms during the Depression (well, one was born in 1911 and the other 1924).  They both taught my parents about 'frugal', etc.....

          I've seen some on this blog that think that I'm wasting money by spending an extra 500-1000 for a dining room set from the Amanas (provided I could afford that anyway) instead of getting some press board set from Target and just replace it when it wears out..... Yeah, right.... I'm going to buy the piece that will last.  I'm still using my parents old bedroom set that they got in the early 60's from a storage facility 'sale' (it's a 50's white bedroom set).  The gold color has worn off the handles, the mirror could use re-silvering and reframed, there's a water stain on the head board, and one handle has broken.  But considering this set has moved from Colorado, to Florida, Iowa, Japan (off base & then on base), Italy (on & off base), Mississippi, Iowa, Arizona, Iowa (old house and my house) in the last 45 years, it's held up really well.  I will always buy the best quality my money can buy and wait until I find what I WANT.  I've looked at some 'newer' bedroom sets and the drawers are half the size of the old ones, but in bigger 'frames'.  I have a rocker and shoe rack made by my great grandfather.  They're not going anywhere.  I have several other antique pieces handed down.  They were made to last.

      •  Is that why those counties are like that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine

        I always wondered why they did that.

        Thank you!!

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