The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 March 2008

On the rocks

Some Michigan transportation officials, their budgets squeezed, shrunk, and then squeezed some more, have noted with sorrow that today you can't tell their asphalt from a hole in the road, and have come up with a brand-new, really old approach: forget the pavement, bring on the gravel. It's already happening in some parts of the Mitten:

Workers [in Kent County] recently pulverized portions of four roads. They'll remain as gravel for a few months despite traffic volumes of 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per day, said Jerry Byrne, director of maintenance for the Kent County Road Commission.

"It's safer," he said, "and it's a better ride."

And after all, what choice do they have?

[T]he state Department of Transportation estimates it needs to come up with an extra $320 million a year just to maintain state-managed roads, and many county-level officials around the state have noted that a number of their roads simply go unrepaired.

I don't know how well this would work in Oklahoma, but I can think of several roads to which I'd like to take a very large sledgehammer, just out of spite.

(Via Autoblog.)

Posted at 6:54 AM to Driver's Seat

Don't encourage them.

There was a letter-to-the-editor in my small local paper the other day from someone claiming that the paved-to-gravel transition was just what had been done to the road she lived on.

Posted by: fillyjonk at 4:31 PM on 28 March 2008

Which is a real damned shame. Back when the auto industry was more-or-less healthy, Michigan (outside of Detroit proper, anyway), had some of the best roads in the neighborhood.

And then the Democrats went and messed it all up. Now Grahholme has her eye on the welfare-state ball and is neglecting primary, fiduciary responsibilities.

Just goes to show you: elect Democrats, and the roads go to hell.

Or something like that.


Posted by: Mark Alger at 10:36 PM on 29 March 2008