Pounding the Pavement
- 3 million — number of acres of open space developed each year in the U.S.
- 40 — percentage increase in acreage of developed land in the U.S. between 1982 and 1997
- 1891 — year in which the first road was paved in the U.S.
- 2.4 million — number of miles of paved public roads in the U.S. in 1997
- 23 — percentage increase in miles of paved public roads in the U.S. from 1977 to 1997
- 83.9 million — number of metric tons of cement produced in the U.S. in 1998
- 10.7 million — metric tons of greenhouse gases (carbon equivalent) released in 1998 as a by-product of cement production in the U.S., an increase of 18 percent since 1990
- 132,197 — acres of mature forest needed to sequester that carbon
- 6-8 million — metric ton increase in concrete demand expected due to funding in the 1997 transportation bill (TEA-21)
- 1.4 million — number of dollars in hard money campaign contributions given by “building materials and equipment” PACs in the 1997-98 election cycle
- 1,900 — percentage increase in storm water flow caused by replacing forest land with commercial development
- 100 (virtually) — percentage of the length of the Los Angeles River paved with concrete
- 12 million — number of cubic yards of concrete in the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the world
1 — U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1997 National Resources Inventory: Highlights.
2 — Calculated from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1997 National Resources Inventory: Highlights.
3 — American Concrete Pavement Association, History — Concrete in Highway Transportation.
4 — U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 1997 (PDF).
5 — Calculated from U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics Summary to 1995 (PDF).
6 — U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook: Cement (PDF), 1998.
7 — U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-1998 (PDF).
8 — Calculated assuming that 200 tons of carbon are sequestered in one hectare of forest, as cited in: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Reference Manual (Volume 3) (PDF).
9 — U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook: Cement (PDF), 1998.
10 — Center for Responsive Politics, Building Materials & Equipment PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates, 1997-1998.
11 — John Irvin, The Importance of Being Pervious.
12 — Blake Gumprecht, The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death and Possible Rebirth (introduction), Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
13 — U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Powerplant, Sept. 2000.
Get Grist in your inbox