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How Can Yellowstone Solve Its Gravel Road Problem?

By Frank Elswick on 03/12/2015

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Yellowstone County has an extensive network of aging gravel roads. How can Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. provide solutions to these issues and help maintain the county’s transportation links?

Yellowstone County in Montana faces a problem common to rural areas: maintaining and developing strong networks of durable and safe gravel roads. This problem is largely due to the failure of local governments to hire contractors who can effectively maintain gravel roads.

According to an opinion piece in the Billings Gazette, “Roads in our subdivision are rough, dusty and littered with loose gravel, as are many roads across the county.”

Dusty and loose gravel can make driving conditions unsafe, causing lower visibility on roadways and increasing traffic and accidents. The local government in Yellowstone County needs to address these concerns soon and develop a plan to maintain their gravel roads over the coming years.

The Issue with Loose Gravel

The Gazette reports that Yellowstone County does not require clay binders in their gravel road mix, noting the high associated costs.

However, the area’s citizens are unsatisfied with the status quo, instead calling for local officials to research commercial solutions to the gravel road problems in Yellowstone County, citing a need for not only a good, solid foundation with bindings, but also maintenance to keep them in working condition.

Another opinion piece in the Billings Gazette lists four concerns of area residents: “County gravel roads are unnecessarily rough, dusty, dangerous, and a nuisance to rural residents. Roads are dangerous because most are blanketed with a proliferation of loose gravel resulting from continuing use of worthless road base material.”

Gravel roads, when well-made and maintained, are economically viable, sustainable transit solutions, especially for rural communities with extended road networks.

How To Properly Maintain Gravel Roads

Gravel road maintenance is a tricky problem for many rural communities, but it doesn’t need to be, especially when help can be found through a nationally recognized and accredited organization such as Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., which provides proven road dust control and stabilization solutions.

Midwest’s road dust control solutions stop all types of particulate matter from entering the air and water, solving even the most stubborn dust control problems for commercial, industrial, and military customers — and they have been rigorously tested and certified by independent agencies.

This sort of extensive testing and certification is the kind of documentation that governments need to trust a commercial supplier.

Midwest also offers road stabilization services, something that Yellowstone County residents have called for in the past. Their stabilization products save you time and money by working with in-place soils and cutting out the greater costs and waiting times tied to the long-haul transportation of aggregates to remote sites.

Using services like Midwest’s dust control or road stabilization can actually save local governments money in the long run and provide citizens with the support and infrastructure they need.

(Image credit: RLEVANS/flickr)

About Author

Frank Elswick

Written by Frank Elswick

Frank is the sales unit manager of Midwest's road construction, natural paving markets.

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