The cost to grind down busted asphalt and replace with gravel is $10,000 a mile. Repaving? $100,000. Explains why many financially-strapped Michigan counties are converting paved roads to gravel in lightly-traveled areas. Also, residents can't afford cars anymore.
We kid. Sort of. In case you haven't heard, Michigan is in a bit of a budgetary crisis, with tax revenues falling faster than you can shake a stick at due to the deteriorating housing market and melting auto industry. As a result, cost saving measures are being put in place which hearken back to another era, like gravel roads instead of paved ones. 20 of the states 83 counties in Michigan are switching some roads in need of repair back to gravel, which will save an estimated $90,000 per mile of road. Instead of paving, they're simply grinding down the roadway and replacing it with gravel.
This may sound like "newspeak," but we're actually pretty excited about this. More gravel roads out there means more potential places for rally courses, and more rallying is good for everyone. Of course, it's also indicative of Michigan being in the poorhouse, so we can't get too excited. [WWMT]