Road Maintenance: We need to change our thinking–NOW.
Not just up to Congress to fix: In the news, the ASCE graded our 4+ million miles of public roadways a “D” and ranked us 16th in the world! Our economy is impacted as freight is slowed down, diverted, impeded on the way to ports, railways, and city centers—and the cost is passed down to the consumer.This is making news alongside our almost bankrupt Federal Highway Trust Fund. But, ear-marking more money and resources to reconstruct a lot of failing roads now just means the cycle will repeat itself in 20 years–and be even more expensive and dire.
This isn’t a problem that has crept up on us overnight. The snowball has been rolling as regular maintenance initiatives have been put on the back-burner. Especially repairing minor surface defects, that don’t seem to impact the average traveler and are expected even as roads age, are often perceived as unnecessary and even wasteful spending by states, counties, and municipalities. We’ve been building roads the same way for 50 years: The traditional way we think about the life of a road is adding to the problem. Even today, we build a road based on a 20 yr life-cycle, leave it alone for a number of years “because it looks and performs Good”, and then act when the damage is clearly visible with varying degrees of fixes; patches, crack-sealing, overlays—often determined by what’s available in the budget and not what’s best for the health of the road. One significant problem: By the time the damage IS seen, over time, the binder strength has already been compromised. The “fix” does not work: It does NOT improve binder healthIt uses a lot of resources for little gain In other-words, It does NOT significantly extend the life of the road. Also, since the lion’s share of the road maintenance budget went towards trying to fix Poor Condition roads, little if any is left to maintain Good Condition roads.
A better way—We MUST Maintain Good Condition Roads:
Asphalt Preservation with GSB-88: Penetrates into the pavement matrix; becomes part of the surface of asphalt, sealing and binding aggregates tightly together. Halts surface oxidation/weathering Lasts 2x as long as other products/extends pavement life
Saves 10x over the Cost of 1 Asphalt Overlay!
The Future Impact: We need take responsibility NOW-road by road-at the local, county, state, and federal level, and do our part to ensure a sustainable infrastructure for our children.
If all Good Condition roads were maintained and preserved on a regular schedule not only would there be significant cost-savings, but road life would be extended 20-30, even 40+ yrs!
Sound too good to be true? We have pavements that have been in service for 42+ yrs!