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Depaving - New Solution for Rotten Roads

How one small town 'fixed' its substandard 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:


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