State DOT to Build Roads Made of Steel

The state DOT’s steel highway plan is to have all its roads converted to durable and long-lasting steel plates by 2030.

📅   Wed April 01, 2015 - National Edition
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At least one state has found a way to combat the increasingly alarming crisis of a shortage of highway transportation funds — build highways made of steel.
At least one state has found a way to combat the increasingly alarming crisis of a shortage of highway transportation funds — build highways made of steel.

At least one state has found a way to combat the increasingly alarming crisis of a shortage of highway transportation funds — build highways made of steel.

A state DOT official, speaking on condition of anonymity until he and other high-level DOT personnel outline the plan in detail with state government officials, stated that he is cautiously optimistic about the prospect.

“We believe that we have a solution here that is workable not only in this state, but across the whole country,” he said. “With steel prices leveling out from their high a few years ago, it should be somewhat affordable. We’ve done our homework. Well, we’ve started doing it, but we haven’t finished it yet. I’ve spoken with some of my friends and they like the idea, so it’s a go as far as I’m concerned.”

The state DOT’s steel highway plan is to have all its roads converted to durable and long-lasting steel plates by 2030. Understandably, the steel industry is excited about the plan.

“We’re excited about the plan,” said Ferris Orr, U.S. Steel Industry spokesman.

The plan, however, has its detractors.

George Sparks, professor of engineering of LRH University, with small locations across the United States, believes the plan is a disaster waiting to happen.

“It’s a disaster waiting to happen … well, maybe we won’t have to wait for too long,” he said. “I’m pretty concerned about thunderstorms and if lightning were to strike the roads. The rubber tires on cars and trucks and so forth will provide some protection, but I’m not sure what happens if a motorist were to get out of his car, stand on the steel road and lightning strikes in proximity. I just don’t know; I’ll have to go back and read through a book I published a few years ago on this kind of stuff.”

Sparks recommended that if this plan were to come to fruition, when a motorist’s car breaks down, pull over to the side of the road, do not exit your vehicle and wait for a trained electrician or FEMA representative and/or Department of Homeland Security official to arrive and give the OK.

The anonymous state DOT official was unfazed by the initial concerns and criticism of the steel road plan.

“Look, there are safety concerns with everything,” he said. “If something bad were to happen, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but the important thing is that we feel this is going to save taxpayer money. It’s a win/win for most people.”

The next step in the steel road process will take place by early summer when DOT officials meet with the state governor to outline the 15-year conversion plan in hopes to obtain approval to proceed. The DOT official predicts the governor will assent to the plan.

“He [the governor] is a big-picture kind of guy and doesn’t get too wrapped up in the details of things,” he said. “That’s how government should work.”

For now, the plan is being ironed out, with a complete and fairly thorough outline to be completed by April 2, 2015.

“We’re just about done,” the DOT official said. “We might have to work late tonight, but we’ll order pizza. What’s most important is that we just simply get this done. This is going to be bigger than U.S. Steel.”

The DOT official did mention one last, but very important detail about the steel road plan.

“April Fool’s,” he shouted, with a smile. “We’ve made up the whole steel road plan, but the one thing and the MOST important thing, is that Congress and the president get together and pass and sign a real long-term highway funding bill because that’s no joke.”