When Paving Isn’t the Most Cost-Effective Solution for Roads

When Paving Isn’t the Most Cost-Effective Solution for Roads

In Dust Control, GreenPave™, Unpaved Roads by Frank Elswick

In small communities across the country, infrastructure investments and an unconsidered desire to pave are undoing the appealing aesthetic of unpaved roads. Here, we champion the potential benefits of preserving our treasured country roads.

The Case for Country Roads

When Lee Circle, a small community in the Atlanta suburbs, faced the possibility that their roads would be paved in a major project aimed at infrastructural improvements, residents were divided, according to Reporter Newspapers — many maintained that gravel roads were fundamental to the community’s old-time ambiance, while others complained of its inefficiency.

This conflict encapsulates an often difficult decision that strikes at the heart of small towns across America: can they modernize and maintain rustic unpaved roadways? Proponents of traditional gravel roads tout their charm and cite the potentially damaging environmental effects of paving, which can cause additional storm water runoff and other complications. Furthermore, the widening of roads necessitated by the paving process can result in the loss of crucial front yard space, along with the trees and vegetation planted there. By maintaining unpaved roads, a small town’s fragile ecosystem can flourish uninterrupted.

The cost of construction and maintenance for the new paved roads almost always outstrips the costs of proper gravel road maintenance — savings that truly add up in small communities worldwide.

Finding Middle Gravel

For those primarily concerned with inefficiency of travel on unpaved roads, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc.’s GreenPave® system provides the benefits of asphalt while eliminating the need for paving. An all-natural polymer, Midwest’s Eco-Pave Base product is blended with soil, treated, compacted, and aggregated to create a smooth road surface, sparing its users the headaches and costs of the traditional paving process.

In addition, the Eco-Pave Base improves long-term wear of existing roads and creates a barrier to decrease moisture penetration at a much lower cost than traditional asphalt. With the Eco-Pave Base option, a community can maintain the long-term surface integrity of the roadway and limit the need for repairs and further construction. Residents can surely agree that this eco-conscious and wallet-friendly system is a win-win solution in the paving debate. Speak to a Midwest representative about GreenPave today!

(Image credit: Jeff Wallace/flickr)

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