Normally, when a gravel road starts seeing a lot of traffic, it earns enough street cred to be upgraded to asphalt. But Texas has this process a little backward.
Instead of repairing an asphalt road in parts of South and West Texas, the state decided to revert it into a gravel road. The 80 miles of road have been damaged by heavy oil-industry equipment, along with local traffic, and the state says it can’t afford to maintain “farm-to-market” roads such as this one.
In addition to going to gravel, the “new” roads will also have a reduced speed limit of 30 mph in some segments.
Just to recap, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is replacing asphalt with gravel and lowering the speed limit. Why are they going in the wrong direction?
Money is tight everywhere, but won’t it cost more in the long run if they decide those roads need to go back to asphalt in the future? Then they will have to start the process all over again.
“I just can’t believe the Department of Transportation is going back to the dark ages,” says Darlene Meyers, a 77-year-old rancher, to The Texas Tribune.
While everything else may be bigger in Texas, the state’s thought process definitely isn’t one of those things.