Gravel vs. asphalt: Back to the Future?

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peterm
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Gravel vs. asphalt: Back to the Future?

Post by peterm »


DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

I'm on the fence. I see the economic and environmental sense in this initiative, but...
I have relatives in rural Pennsylvania. When I was very young there were some dirt roads, long since paved, that we traveled when we went to visit with my mom's family. I remember how filthy the back of the car was when we went get our stuff out of the trunk, how much dust got into the unairconditioned car when a truck would pass, the chips and cracks in everybody's windshields, my mom's reluctance to drive her new car on the dirt road fearing chipped paint, the cloud of dust that enveloped the front porches of the houses that were close to the road when a car or truck passed. The solution back then was for the Township to spray collected waste oil on the dirt road to keep the dust down....I think that constitutes a felony now.

If this was a plan for uninhabited stretches or where other paved options exist, maybe it could work.

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

We have a gravel parking lot at the Stockman House and it is a continual problem when it comes to plowing the snow, which is why after six years of putting up with the problem we are going pave the lot.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

So, concrete is considered just too expensive an option ? I love a ribbon of concrete in the country . . .

Oiling of gravel roads was common at one time -- to cut down on dust.

http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/brea ... -whats-oil

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I recall driving around SW Minnesota on country roads of gravel without any thought about dust. Things get dusty. So dust. Rain, on the other hand, could turn a gravel road into a sloppy mess.

peterm
Posts: 6290
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

"The yearly maintenance costs of gravel roads make them appear inefficient, until you consider the capital improvement costs associated with bituminous roads at the middle and end of their lives, which isn’t always reflected in yearly maintenance."

http://blogs.mprnews.org/ground-level/2 ... ved-roads/

Mod mom
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Post by Mod mom »

How about some innovation?

France has unveiled the first solar-powered road in the world.
https://www.indy100.com/article/france- ... gy-7517506

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

A for effort! But I doubt that this exact incarnation has much of a future...

RA
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Post by RA »

Not to worry. Soon we will be able to coat our gravel roads with oil again. As soon as dear leader rolls back the appropriate regulations.

Driving down the road here today, there were 2 bald headed eagles flying overhead. I was thinking that I'll be able to hunt those soon - as soon as those regulations are rolled back as well. They are like pests here, like squirrels... The place is overrun with them. Damn environmentalists.

It rains here quite a bit (Washington state). I spend too much time filling potholes on our gravel roads due to the rain. Such a pain. The fellas who fill the potholes want asphalt. The people who want to keep it quaint , rustic and dirt don't do their fair share of filling the holes. Does this make sense? Civilization is deteriorating. I have faith that Trump will turn this around.

Mod mom
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Post by Mod mom »

What was being done with regulations will only get worse under the Trump administration:

http://www.newsweek.com/oil-and-gas-was ... tle-310684

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Good god, is this endless Trump screed going to infest everything on this site? Get a life.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Wright specified gravel for the driveways of Usonian houses, when paving was the norm. I've generally thought of the advantages being better drainage, easier maintenance, and a more "natural" Asian, rustic aesthetic.

I started this thread because an old fashioned idea which Wright seemed to prefer is now being reconsidered. There certainly are huge environmental advantages. If we talk about anything related to the environment, it is to be expected that the subject of recent loosening and abandonment of environmental regulations comes up.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I predict macadam will not increase in usage over the next 8 years.

peterm
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Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »


SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

There we are. The progression in road building from the 18th century on was toward ever-smaller stones as foundation to the "paved" road, and (with Macadam) smaller surface stone -- and a growing understanding of the importance of a road management and maintenance system.

And then: "With the advent of motor vehicles, dust became a serious problem on macadam roads. The area of low air pressure created under fast-moving vehicles sucked dust from the road surface, creating dust clouds and a gradual unraveling of the road material." This led to the use of asphalt as a binder and hardener.



I recently read a novel from 1999 by one Ronald Wright. A detail of the narrative, set 500 years from today in a ravaged (and rewilded) world: a malicious product of the 2020s has left behind deserted freeways covered with a carpet of EcoTurf, the miracle lawn-substitute plant engineered to need no mowing and to resist all pests. It has taken over where it could most easily spread, on the paved paths of the world. PS -- don't walk barefoot on this stuff !

SDR

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