We are bringing pavements into the 21st century with factory production, mass customization, and interchangeable parts.
Join the discussion on our Facebook fan page!
What do we want to do? At the center of our project is a desire to fix the roadways that form the infrastructure that connects people together and enables modern life. Municipal budgets cannot afford to maintain existing roads, but the demands on our infrastructure keep rising. The aim of this project is to demonstrate a new, alternative paving system that is much more cost-effective, lasts longer, can offer new services to the public, and is both resilient and sustainable.
How can we do this? Factory built modular paving slabs that lock together to form a smooth, solid surface, but can be removed individually for repair, replacement, or sub-surface access. Embedded within each is a suite of sensor technologies that monitor the health of the paving slab and automatically report any problems.
Instead of painstakingly constructing and maintaining roads by-hand, on-site, using expensive and laborious one-off construction methods, our project will demonstrate the feasibility of producing road sections in factories, where the pavement can be cast under controlled conditions, resulting in a more reliable product, better quality control, year-round production, and just-in-time delivery.
Okay, so what's the next step? In order to get there from here, we must first build full-scale prototypes of our modular street paving slabs. These slabs will serve as the reference design for future projects.
We need to finish the design & modeling of our precast prestressed concrete pavement slab, then have forms made for full-scale casting by an existing precast manufacturer in the area. Using several copies of the reference design, we will work with an existing pavement installer to test the fit and performance of the design.
What's the money for? We need to finish the design phase, which means having our CAD/CAM approved by a licensed engineer, which means at least a couple hundred consulting fee. From there, the big leap is getting forms made for us - the design of the forms, based on our CAD/CAM & scale model testing, will cost a couple thousand and the stamping of the forms will cost ten thousand. In the video I said $15k which should cover everything.
Once the forms are made, the paving slabs will cost around $3000 each for the initial castings. Ideally, we'd like to cast nine in order to test a full 3x3 grid and ensure that the centerpiece can be removed as-designed and that everything works together. This would also give us a 30' x 30' (10m x 10m) or 10' x 90' (3m x 30m) pavement to test in traffic. However, just casting two or four would suffice for basic testing purposes.
We would then like to work with the University to remove a section of distressed concrete on campus and replace it with our pavement, allowing us to test and demonstrate our pavement design while helping to solve a real problem.
Update since filming - If we are able to raise enough money we might not need forms, since we may be able to use a resettable casting bed. That's good news as it might allow us to test more units at a lower cost for each, and help us afford an actual installation.
A big thanks to Nate Espy for filming and editing our project video!
Yes, precast pavements have been used effectively in many places for more than thirty years. They are especially popular in some parts of Asia, and there have been several FHWA projects demonstrating full width, permanently installed precast pavements. They have been used in New York, California, Colorado, Indiana, and even here in Missouri. In France, a researcher has been experimenting with a removable urban pavement, but in a completely different way.
Existing precast designs are generally full-width, permanently installed pavements intended for highway use. Ours is a removable, single lane width municipal pavement intended to allow utility access and fast repair.
Pot holes are formed when water intrusion or ground settling causes a void to form underneath the pavement surface, which causes the pavement to be stressed and eventually collapse into the void.
Our pavement is designed to span any voids that form so that it won't collapse into the void, and report back home if it senses a void forming so that we can repair the grade before any problems arise.
This concern is known as "faulting", where you have a large gap between the pavement surfaces, or if one edge rises up above the other. Our most basic slab is designed to transfer faulting to the grade, which is preferably a thin bituminous layer over aggregate. A more advanced feature is a "diamond keyway" which means that there is a piece of one slab extending into another slab, similar to how permanent pavements have a 'dowel' across the joint to transfer force. Our keyway is, in essence, a removable dowel.
We also have two other mechanisms to avoid inconsistent settling and faulting that we aren't prepared to reveal publicly at this time. One of them holds the pavement together like a plastic ring holds your six pack together but allows the pavement slabs to be removed like an individual can from the ring.
pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on May 18, 2011.
Apr 18, 2011 - May 18, 2011 (30 days)
- First created · 0 backed
- Has not connected Facebook
Pledge $1 or more
A photo tour of the project from funding to finish.
Pledge $10 or more
10 backers Limited (90 of 100 left)
A personalized thank you card and a hand-signed photo of the team alongside or standing on the finished product.
Pledge $100 or more
5 backers Limited (95 of 100 left)
Your name (or alphanumeric string of your choosing) inscribed on a plaque that will be affixed to a full-scale prototype. Your thank-you package will include photographs and other verification.
Pledge $250 or more
We will hand-write a letter to the recipient of your choosing detailing your kind and generous nature, your virility and animal magnetism, or whatever qualities you would like us to emphasize. For example, we could write your mother a happy letter praising your character and her good parenting. Also guaranteed lie-free, as you are a good person if you donate to help our project.
Pledge $1,000 or more
0 backers Limited (100 of 100 left)
A scale model of our production prototype, made in a rapid prototyping machine, with your name and chosen inscription on it (character limit to be determined).
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
We will cast a full sized unit in your name. It will have an inscription of your choosing (character limit to be determined) and be available for your retrieval after a limited testing period. Delivery not included. We will also send you additional, as yet to be determined rewards.
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
We will come to your home town and work with a local precast company to construct a couple units to demonstrate to your municipality, in your honor.
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
You will be flown to lovely Kansas City - the Paris of the Midwest - for an overnight visit to witness the casting of your very own paving slab. You will stay in a luxury hotel, be chauffeured to the finest restaurants, and receive a personal welcome and presentation from the project team. (Continental United States only)