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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:49 PM   #421
ChrisZwolle
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I'm not sure what he meant by the rain but when I'm driving in the rain I feel much safer driving on concrete than on asphalt. The asphalt seems to damn slippery in the rain while the grooves they make in the concrete (also makes that cool whistling sound) seems to work much better with the rain.
In The Netherlands we use ZOAB Asphalt. That means very open asphalt concrete. It looks like regular asphalt, but it is less dense, so water can poor into it very good. Even in heavy rain there is absolutely no water splashing up! Even with trucks!

It's great, but the opposite side is, that it won't last very long, you can lay down concrete for 30 years, but ZOAB has to be replaced here every 10 - 15 years, because of the heavy traffic we have, and the shorter duration of the asphalt. But it's worth it.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #422
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WTF
There are several Americans who HATE having anything about the US criticized in the least ESPECIALLY if it comes from someone who wasn't born here. I think this is what's going on with this post. The fact is the critique of I-80 and other highways is right on the mark, so the truth wins the day.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #423
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I just watched "Modern Marvels; Paving America", and everyone on this thread would be quite interested.

It said when the federal government started it's massive plan in the 50's to pave interstates across America (because the Americans saw the Autobahns they used to chase the Germans back across Germany, and were wildy impressed), they used a test track with many types of surfaces 7 miles long, and drove trucks back and forth on it 24 hours a day for 2 years.

They finally chose to use concrete for the new interstates. After awhile though (I think maybe 10-12 years?), they realized that the concrete was breaking up with cracks to a great degree. They then changed, and the main material used is normally asphalt.

The great thing about asphalt is you can lay it down and drive on it right away. Another great thing is when roads need repaving, they scape up all the asphalt, and are able to fully re-use 80% of that same asphalt on a new smooth road. This is great for recycling, as well as makes the process cheaper than mixing new asphalt.

The one thing, as said, is that asphalt lasts a shorter period - especially since much of the country has temps anywhere from -20/-30 to 35-45C. You can fill in cracks in asphalt with new asphalt though for a few years, but at some point you must scrape it up and throw down new material.

It was amazing to see the history of our roads/highways before 1950. They were HORRIBLE. All the highways had names, and some of them were just dirt/gravel roads. In the 1920's when cars were becoming popular, the government finally spoke up and said "hey, we need some system here". There were dozens of roads in the country with names, and after while people were having to stop too many times because they become lost changing from highway to highway with all these different names.

That's when they developed a system of numbers for all the roads across the country. This way people knew to just look for "Highway 6" or whatever, and people were finding their destinations much more efficiently.

In 1919 the Army took a cross country trip across the country to celebrate the win in WWI, and the convoy was gettings stuck in mud and trapped on steep roads all across the country. The trip was chaos, and many vehicles had to be abandoned along the way. This was the very first time (the 1920's) that the government really started looking into the dire need of roads across the country. The 1930's saw a TON of new roads during the depression, but then everything stopped from around 1941 to 1956 because of WWII, the aftermath, and the Korean War. It was finally in 1956 when the government realized millions of Americans were buying a LOT of cars, and here we were with roads built by hand in the 1920's and 1930's.

Now that 50 years has past since we started the interstates, we're hitting the point in the 2000's that a great many of these roads just need to be replaced. I think it's something the government is going to have to start looking at on a larger level than the "patch and repave" that we've been doing since the system was built.

People say we have bad roads, but we didn't ALWAYS have bad roads - we're just living in a time when our massive interstate system is starting to reach old age. I hope the government can deal with this though, we're starting to see more and more of those 5-10 mile patches of interstates being repaved all over the place. It would cause GREAT disruption though if we went and started to reconstruct the roads at the same level as how they were built. You can't just close 150 miles of I-80 to reconstruct. Too many people depend on those roads today.

Anyway, long babble, but an interesting thought.

Last edited by Chicagoago; March 4th, 2007 at 07:05 PM.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #424
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Yeah, we have that problem too. Most of our Dutch motorways were build in the sixties and seventies, and they need to be repaved too, they repaved some 1000km in 2 years. But our motorways are now too busy to begin such a huge pavement-job.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 11:20 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
And here is my answer to one of the previous topics " Why European Highways are much better than American ones??". Here is why:



Just because this road is in bad shape doesnt mean that all the american highways are worst than the european highways.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #426
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Just because this road is in bad shape doesnt mean that all the american highways are worst than the european highways.

Show me any major highway in Western Europe that looks like that. I bet there isn't one to be found. And now Eastern Europe is building good highways as well. I realize the American Interstate system is quite old, but it's not older than the German Autobahn system and the Autobahns, sitting as they do in the center of Europe, are heavily used by trucks and cars.
I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but we shouldn't be happy with bad highways, especially major cross-country routes like Interstate 80.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 12:13 AM   #427
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but is not that bad..
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Old March 5th, 2007, 02:05 AM   #428
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but is not that bad..
That stretch of I-80 is THAT BAD, believe me. Driving there as slow as 80 km/h, you start worrying that your suspension will fail. Last time, I remember a motorway in such a sorry shape was in Russia back in 1997. I don't want to compare all American motorways with European ones, but like Billpa said, I have never ever seen such pavement on any European motorway.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 02:40 AM   #429
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alright.. whatever.. but that doesnt mean that all the freeways in the United States are in bad shape..
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Old March 5th, 2007, 05:51 AM   #430
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You are fighting with the windmills, my friend. No one said that all the freeways in the US are in bad shape.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #431
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Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
There are several Americans who HATE having anything about the US criticized in the least ESPECIALLY if it comes from someone who wasn't born here. I think this is what's going on with this post. The fact is the critique of I-80 and other highways is right on the mark, so the truth wins the day.
There are several Europeans on here who criticize anything the US does given the opportunity. Rather than actually look at the reasons American freeways are not as good as European ones, they would rather take the moment to bash the US. If that has to do with our current president, well, he sucks, and has nothing to do with anything regarding the roads, save for nominating the Transportation Secretary.

Yes, US roads are different from European ones. Yes, they are of inferior quality at times. No, that has nothing to do with any particular deficiency of the American people, it has everything to do with lower gas taxes and the insanely lower density of the US compared to Europe.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #432
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they would rather take the moment to bash the US......

.....that has nothing to do with any particular deficiency of the American people,
Who has said any of the above?
I think you're a little too sensitive about these matters. The American roads infrastructure is quite poor at the moment- pointing that out is not un-American it's just truth-telling. As an American, born and raised, I understand our heads are filled with the idea that America's the greatest country in the world from early on- and challenging that even a little bit- can really start an argument. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #433
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Its all because people are being too bored =) I was watching an episode of South Park, where people say people only protest because they are bored and have nothing better to do...

It all keeps the world interesting =)
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Old March 5th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #434
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Can't we all just
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Old March 5th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
Who has said any of the above?
I think you're a little too sensitive about these matters. The American roads infrastructure is quite poor at the moment- pointing that out is not un-American it's just truth-telling. As an American, born and raised, I understand our heads are filled with the idea that America's the greatest country in the world from early on- and challenging that even a little bit- can really start an argument. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
I don't think we're the best country in the world; in fact, I think anyone claiming such a thing about any country is the height of stupidity. No one said any of the above, however, they are pretty much implied whenever nothing good about what the US is doing is said. Alex von Koenigsburg does a good job of mixing criticism with praise, so I can respect his statements. "Quite poor" is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? At the same time, don't you think we do pretty well for ourselves given how much less money goes into our system compared to other Western nations? Not to mention how much less money CAN go into our system per capita compared to other Western nations?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #436
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In The Netherlands we use ZOAB Asphalt. That means very open asphalt concrete. It looks like regular asphalt, but it is less dense, so water can poor into it very good. Even in heavy rain there is absolutely no water splashing up! Even with trucks!

It's great, but the opposite side is, that it won't last very long, you can lay down concrete for 30 years, but ZOAB has to be replaced here every 10 - 15 years, because of the heavy traffic we have, and the shorter duration of the asphalt. But it's worth it.
Is that the type of asphalt that's kinda "loud" when you drive on it? I actually love the really "rough" asphalt I've seen on some highways especially on Texas 71 on the way to Houston. Let me know if that's what you're talking about. Even in the rain I've driven on that rough type of asphalt at 90mph (144kmh) and felt safe doing that speed.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #437
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"Quite poor" is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?
Looking at the example given, I think "quite poor" is actually kind. I just happen to believe we have our priorities backwards in this country when it comes to this stuff. We spend like there's no tomorrow all over the world through the military when we have very pressing needs here at home; i.e. the gulf coast, New Orleans, Southern Mississippi and our infrastructure. No one in congress dares cut back on what Bush wants to dump in Iraq, but propose rebuilding a highway and there's "no money" to be found. But it's not just Bush- we've spent a king's ransom over the years in the defense of Europe and other places and, personally, I've had enough.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #438
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Is that the type of asphalt that's kinda "loud" when you drive on it?
No, it's extremely noise-reducing asphalt, it makes way lesser noise than concrete.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #439
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Looking at the example given, I think "quite poor" is actually kind. I just happen to believe we have our priorities backwards in this country when it comes to this stuff. We spend like there's no tomorrow all over the world through the military when we have very pressing needs here at home; i.e. the gulf coast, New Orleans, Southern Mississippi and our infrastructure. No one in congress dares cut back on what Bush wants to dump in Iraq, but propose rebuilding a highway and there's "no money" to be found. But it's not just Bush- we've spent a king's ransom over the years in the defense of Europe and other places and, personally, I've had enough.
Fair enough, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, and I for the most part agree with you. I think the problem is that no matter what, even if we did have as high gas taxes as most European nations, our freeways would not be as good, simply because not as many people are paying per mile. That's what I'm trying to say.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #440
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Fair enough, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, and I for the most part agree with you. I think the problem is that no matter what, even if we did have as high gas taxes as most European nations, our freeways would not be as good, simply because not as many people are paying per mile. That's what I'm trying to say.
Yea, and it would be impractical for the prices to be that high up in the United States, IMO, the massive urban sprawl and different car culture in America does not leave room for gas prices to get up much higher, especially since there's not very much choice in the way of public transportation.

Plus, are labor/materials costs different in Europe and America? I don't know if that might play a factor.
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