Sonoma County is testing turning paved country roads in need of major work into dirt roads in an effort to save money. Lake and Mendocino counties have done the same, and an interesting story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper shows that many Midwestern states are turning country roads into dirt or gravel. Here’s an excerpt:

“Paved roads are starting to disappear across the Midwest. Local officials, facing rising pavement prices, shrinking budgets and fewer residents, are making tough decisions to regress. In some places, they have even eliminated small stretches of gravel road altogether.

“Michigan has changed more than 100 miles of pavement to gravel. After one road was torn up, the County Road Association of Michigan bottled the millings and asphalt and sent them to state legislators as a message.

“In North Dakota, a couple of stretches nearly 10 miles long already have gone to gravel along with a sprinkling of smaller patches. South Dakota may be the Midwest’s most torn-up state. A state transportation official estimated 120 miles of pavement have been ground up or left to crumble.”

To read the full story, CLICK HERE.

To read a past Road Warrior story about the local dirt road test, CLICK HERE.