SIGN OF THE TIMES: RURAL PAVED ROADS BEING ALLOWED TO REVERT BACK TO GRAVEL
Jan. 10, 2011
Iowa Farmer Today reports:
Mile after mile of paved roads in Iowa are returning to gravel as counties try to save money.
In Northeast Iowa, Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour says the county has decided not to seal-coat some roads. He says it's only a couple miles, but expects to see more.
Washington County in Southeastern Iowa also has made the same decision on a one-mile stretch of old U.S. Highway 218 near Riverside, IA.
Asphalt prices are tied to petroleum prices, and the cost of maintaining hard-surface roads is escalating. Ridenour told The Cedar Rapids Gazette the cost of seal coat, a layer of asphalt topped with gravel, was about $7,000 a mile a decade ago. Today, it's about $20,000 per mile.