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Rough roads? Recycle them!

Whiteside County is using a "road recycling" process this summer that costs less and is supposed to do a better job. Motorists will judge the results.

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:33 a.m. CDT

Taxpayers should appreciate government officials who try to get them more bang for the buck.

Count Russ Renner, Whiteside County engineer, among that group.

The county highway department is using a new system to resurface 10 miles of roadway this summer.

It's called "road recycling."

What the process basically does is grind off the top 4 inches of pavement, add oil to the ground-up material, and then use it to repave the roadway.

The process isn't totally new (Henry County has done it for a while), but it is new here.

It's supposed to get rid of cracks better than by just paving over them.

It's supposed to last longer and require fewer repairs.

And, it costs less.

Renner told Sauk Valley Media that doing road recycling on a 5-mile stretch of Sand Road, which began in June, should cost the county $500,000 to $600,000. When the county resurfaced 5 miles of Coleta Road the conventional way last year, the price tag was $1 million.

Five more miles of road recycling are planned this summer for parts of Chase, Hurd and Springhill roads.

The approach certainly fits in with today's philosophy of recycling products and materials that people use – glass, plastic, aluminum, tin cans, paper, oil, tires, electronics, and so forth.

We hope the projects meet with success. If more miles of roadway can be fixed for less money, Whiteside taxpayers certainly stand to benefit.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding.

How will the recycled roads stand up to traffic, weather, and the ravages of time?

Motorists will judge the results.

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