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Roadways Within The United States

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Roadways within the United States are a failing infrastructure. Paved roads are all across the U.S. and many more are being created as we speak. Many roads within America are in bad shape and nothing is being done to help it. Many of the roads we travel today were built many years ago when the technology was not as advanced as we are today. Over the years, some of these roads have been scraped up and recycled, but many, if not most, have just been patched, paved over, or filled in. The roads we travel stretch far and wide. They connect many cities and towns all across the United States. These roads are the number one way of travel around the U.S. and without them being in usable and sustainable shape we would have a failing nation. Not only is this bad for the economy, but is also a safety hazard to all who travel the roads.

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Three main points I would like to point out are what kind of shape the roads are in, what is being done to help with the condition, and where do we get and use the money for the roadway system in America. If you have ever driven within any of the southern states of the U.S. you will know very quick when you cross a state line. The roads within the south are not in the best of shape. Whether you are travelling via interstate or U.S. highway you can always find that “bump in the road”, literally. Most of the United States roadways are Interstate Systems and U.S. Highways. These make up a vast majority of the nation. These roads are very important because they are main highways that connect state to state, and major cities to one another. This makes for a wealthy economy when people are able to get to these cities easier and more efficiently. Without easy travel on these roadways many cities could begin to fail or lose the money needed to sustain its economic demands. City officials see after the local roads of their own cities while the states government look after the interstate system and roads between cities and towns. This causes an uneven distribution of money and power within the roadway system in America.

Most local roads tend to be in worse shape than the government owned roads, reason being because the government roads quite honestly bring in a significantly more amount of money than local roads. Small towns and cities located within a broke county tend to have it the worst when it comes to roadways. Most of the roads will be head high with grass growing, potholes scaping the entire roadway, and failing bridges. These all can lead to a very high safety hazard within a short amount of time. Roads such as Interstates and U.S. Highways however, are limited and controlled by the states government and how much money they make and are able to spend on the roads. With many miles of roads to cover and maintain you may think that it is a huge margin of deficit within a states spending. In reality it does not even count for much of the annual spent money over a years time span for a state. This is due to them not maintaining the roads properly as they should. In 2007 $146 billion was spent maintaining and preserving our roadways. These investments include everything from maintaining roadways, to building completely new roadways. The cost of the annual money spent may seem very high, but when you add the material, labor, heavy machinery and time spent, it all can come very quickly and without notice. A big question and concern is the types of materials used on the roads. What is most commonly seen is asphalt, which a substance of black tar with usually sand or gravel. Asphalt is the cheaper type of roadway, rather than concrete.

Concrete is a mixture of water, sand, and gravel which cures through a period of hydration. Although concrete cost more, it also last longer. Concrete is the more efficient and reliable product and if the Department of Transportation would start to replace more of our highways with it, we would have a lot less of a problem. If the DOT was to replace the roadways with concrete, is would cost a substantial amount of money. Therefore the U.S. would have to cut some of its spending in other areas to help this concern. This may concern some people, however, it would be extremely better in the long run. Because, by the time and the money you spend redoing asphalt roadways, it would be cheaper to put down concrete. Once most of the major roadways are complete, the government could cut a huge amount of money from the DOT because not near as may repairs or work would have to be done. For example, you could get a lead pencil that you have to refill every other day; or you could get a pen for double the price, but the pen last a year with no problems. By the time you pay for all of the lead, you could have bought three pens. In this case your asphalt is your pencil, and concrete is your pen. Once the roadways are efficient, the economy will be as well, less spending, will lead to more saving.

In this world now, we could use all the savings we could and can get. You would be surprised how much the pavement in which you drive over everyday, can affect the community, city, county, state, and the U.S.. It is some of the smallest things that could make America great again. When most people think about what could make this country great, usually public roadways do not come to mind. The more you think about it though the more complex it becomes and the more involved you are with what goes on in the transportation economy. It is your tax paying dollars that help fund and provide for roadway construction and upkeep, and to see the roads fail as much as they do it is almost a shame at site. To make this country great again we need many things beyond imagine to happen. Although improving public roadways is a minor detail of the cause it is major to who we are and how we operate. Whether you are for or against a campaign slogan that states “Make America Great Again” I believe we can all agree that the roadways in America need improvements. This begins a page closer to a new United States.

11 February 2020

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