We've covered the move across the nation to convert old, blacktop, or chip-seal roads to gravel before here, but those stories were about roads out east. Now we're seeing this happen in the Mid-West too. The "Omaha World-Herald" has an on-line version of the newspaper called "Omaha.com" where it is being reported that Iowa counties are already converting miles of chip-seal to gravel roads again, and that Nebraska counties are considering doing the same.
story posted on "Omaha.com" it is described how a chip-seal or blacktop road can cost upwards of $50,000 per mile every five to seven years to maintain, while a gravel road mile costs $5000 to put in and maintain a year.
Interestingly, it is noted in the article how cyclists in the late 1800's were the ones that pushed for paved roads in the first place. While that is still true to this day, cyclists now push for pavement reserved for use by cyclists and pedestrians only and not to be integrated with automobiles as much. Even bike lanes reflect this sort of mentality these days.
We at Gravel Grinder News and cyclists that are like us are excited about seeing more gravel road opportunities. Even though we share the road with ag equipment and traffic, the traffic counts are so low as to be a non-issue most of the time.