Roads

Road and highway systems provide a critical function in creating and maintaining a desirable quality of life. Local businesses depend on reliable road systems for the efficient movement and distribution of manufactured goods and services, employee transportation to and from work, and movement and availability of energy and raw materials. Local communities are dependent on transportation for access to health care, education, food and clothing, to move livestock from one place to another, and personal mobility. Roads include both urban and rural, secondary to major highways, rehabilitation to new road construction, and public and private operators. Road systems need to be sustainable in light of finite natural resources, sensitive environmental conditions, and limited economic resources. Road systems should be planned, designed, constructed, and maintained in a fashion that properly manages the potentially negative environmental and social impacts and risks while attempting to promote positive impacts and benefits. Potential important benefits include cost effectiveness, reduced material consumption, improved quality of life, and increased protection of finite environmental resources. Significant opportunities exist, for example, in the use of new technologies, processes, and products such as use of recycled materials or more environmentally friendly cement or asphalt, energy conservation via solar lighting, and alternative vegetation clearing and slope erosion control and stabilization.