Our roads surely will suffer

By From page A6 | July 17, 2014

Based on a recent Enterprise article, it looks like The Cannery project isn’t starting out all that “green.” With all the sweetness-and-light discussions on energy efficiency and zero carbon emissions from both the developer and city, I don’t recall mention of the need for the upcoming 200 million pounds of dirt, road-warrior onslaught.
Based on the published numbers, it comes to more than 170,000 miles of abuse on our crumbling road system. And mind you, these aren’t Priuses doing the hauling. These are your basic dual-trailer big rigs.

After some research, I came up with some not-so-green statistics. Averaging 6.5 mpg, they will consume a little over 26,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Burning that much fuel would emit more than 580,000 pounds of CO2. They also emit quite a bit of particulate black carbon soot. This soot, in some circles, is regarded as more problematic from both a health and global warming perspective. That’s quite a big carbon footprint they’ll have to dig out of.
They tried to put lipstick on this pig by claiming it was a win-win by utilizing waste dirt from our river water project. Any takers on how many more broken windshields we’ll see along the route from falling debris? Any doubts? Check out East Covell at the exit of the project. Do you think there will be any big rig vs. car accidents during the project? Sadly, I’m guessing yes.
Back to our roads — if anyone has any doubts as to what these trucks can do to our roads, one only needs to look at the city streets that are heavily traveled by buses. These buses are lightly loaded compared to the trucks. Look at Alvarado Avenue, for example, to see how the road gets chewed up and rutted.
These vehicles may very well pay the appropriate compensatory road taxes but, along the way, the politicians have intercepted that money. And it will continue, believe me. In the end we’ll be stuck with roads in worse shape than when they started and no way to repair them — except by increasing our already high taxes.

Greg Stovall

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