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FEMA engineer offering construction assistance to Vermont road crews

Posted On Wed, July 20, 2011

The gravel and dirt roads of Vermont are an integral part of the state's image, but they often turn into difficult or impossible-to-maneuver fields of mud in the spring.

Richard Downer, a mitigation engineer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now providing local and state road crews with the opportunity to attend workshops. During these sessions, he plans to teach workers how to rebuild roads that will be less vulnerable to future flooding and heavy rains.

Geosynthetics are mostly plastic products used in construction and road building. They usually involve some form of woven or molded plastic fiber or matting that is buried beneath the surface to strengthen a road bed, bank or ditch and increase water drainage.

Downer stated, "We won't be able to eliminate mud season, but by using some of these geosynthetic products when rebuilding or repairing roads damaged by floods, we can make them much more resistant to disasters in the future."

Safer roads mean safer driving, and lower chances of drivers being involved in an accident. Depending on the provider and specific policy, auto insurance rates can increase significantly following just one accident.

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