THE EDITOR: Driving in this country is akin to playing a game of pick-a-pothole. As we enter a new decade, I am calling on the Government to show how much it cares for the citizenry by seeking to fix our roads now.
I would like to suggest that concrete roads deliver considerable savings for both taxpayers and the Government. Consider the following documented facts:
* Concrete roads typically cost 25 to 50 per cent less than asphalt to maintain over the years. Restoration techniques can extend the life of concrete roads up to nine times their original design life.
* They have an average life of 30 to 35 years (in Wisconsin, 25 years; in Colorado, 27 years; in New York, 25 years; in Minnesota, 35 years). After its first month in place, concrete progressively gains ten per cent strength during its life.
* They are more durable and require less annual maintenance, therefore less time is lost in traffic jams caused by road repairs.
* They make it unnecessary to impose weight restrictions.
* They, because of reflectivity, require far less lighting, thereby reducing the costs of installation and maintaining street lights. Additionally, reflectivity increases visibility, therefore are safer for drivers.
* They lower maintenance costs for car owners.
* They make it easier for wheels to roll. Studies have shown that if all trucks rode on concrete, fuel savings would range in the millions of gallons.
* In urban areas they can reduce temperatures.
* They facilitate rapid paving as concrete roads can be built and open to traffic in as little as 12-15 hours.
* They can be built over our existing asphalt roads. White topping involves placing a layer of standard concrete over existing asphalt surfaces. Ultra-thin white topping is a process of placing a thin layer of fibre-reinforced concrete over prepared asphalt.
In conclusion, concrete roads are good for TT. They are cost-effective, expedient methods of rehabilitating our distressed asphalt roads and are environmentally friendly. Their construction can help boost revenue for our cement industry which, since 2015, has progressively reduced staff by 70 per cent in order to stay afloat.
The taxpayers of this country deserve the change.