Depaving - New Solution for Rotten Roads

July 13, 2016

It's not the worst idea, writes Aarian Marshall in's recent article.

When Montpelier, Vermont decided to rip up a pothole-riddled asphalt road and replace it with gravel in 2009, it didn’t see itself at the forefront of a growing trend in public works. It was simply responding to a citizen complaint.

Repaving roads is expensive, so Montpelier instead used its diminishing public works budget to take a step back in time and un-pave the road. Workers hauled out a  “reclaimer to pulverized the damaged asphalt and smoothed out the road. They filled the space between Vermont’s cruddy soil and hardier dirt and gravel up top with a geotextile fabric that helps with erosion, stability and drainage.

As it turns out, Montpelier's solution is trending. Read Marshall's take on the new depaving of America's roads here: