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No matter how many times I see this thing, it never fails to amaze me: The Tiger Stone paver basically prints brick roads. It’s a machine that feeds stones through a hopper and spits out road on the other end. As far as I can tell it’s the fastest way on the planet to get the “charming” village look.

My question is, why the hell don’t we have these things everywhere? Sure, it would suck as a highway, but city streets and under 40 mph would be great with this look. We might have something like this somewhere in the states, but the folks in the Netherlands really seem to get it.

Tiger Stone Paver System [Website]

 

25 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Tiger Stone Street Paver

  1. Gil says:

    *coughs* ~__~

  2. Dave P says:

    If I may address the question of why we don’t have them here:

    Most members of the available labor pool here couldn’t tessellate their way out of a paper bag. We’d end up with streets that looked like they were designed by Piet Mondrian on acid.

  3. Clint says:

    Ice and snow is why these are not popular everywhere. In Kansas this type of street is next to impossible to plow and damage from ice (freeze/thaw) cycle loosens the brick.

  4. K!P says:

    well, we have plenty of ice in the netherlands, and the bricks hold up just fine, and they are mostly used for secondary roads or neighborhood roads, they dont get plowed (often).

  5. Cameron Watt says:

    Work smarter not harder, right? http://www.elshoutendebont.nl/index_nieuws.html

    Brick roads are great for utility upgrades: Pull the bricks, do the work, replace the bricks.

    @Ch!cken: I’d expect Dutch folks to come up with something like this; so many bricks in that country.

  6. Alan says:

    A smaller version used for straight walkways might be nice. Be you could build something like that… Hmmm…

  7. metis says:

    kip, i believe you may underestimate midwestern winters. we’ve so much snow in minneapolis at the moment that parking is banned on the even side of most streets. so much snow has fallen that even with boulevard strips to take up the snow roads have lost a lane in width.

    the boulevard strip infront of my house is under about 4′ of snow.

    since mid december i have seen a city/county/state snow plow out *daily* just tidying up things, or trying to clear a highway shoulder.

  8. john says:

    Yes the US midwest get lots of snow, but so does all of northern Europe. Many old cities in Finland have “brick” streets and seem to just just fine in the winter and costal towns have plenty of freeze an thaw cycles. I’ve seen many Canadians with interlock brick drive ways and they seem to just as much snow as the midwest (probably more, their winters are longer) and they seem to have no problems plowing and snow blowing.

  9. Jules says:

    I live in a midsized midwestern city on an old brick street. The pavers on my block are about 120 years old. Not in great shape, but with little to no maintenance for the past 50 years. The city claims they are too costly to maintain and has been replacing a bit more each year with asphalt. I asked at a council meeting to be shown a 50-year old asphalt street that had had as little care as my brick street… the reply? Not possible, the asphalt streets have a 25-year lifespan. Idiots.Give me well-laid brick pavers — oh, and I’ll put my granite curbs up against concrete for longevity any day of the week.

  10. john says:

    Jules, you nailed it.

  11. Cameron Watt says:

    Parts of my old neighbourhood were cobbled; no plows went down those streets!

    Jules, your city doesn’t want the populace to have the “ammunition” that brick roads provide when you guys finally revolt and riot.

    I think a lot of us have seen bricks mis-used without realizing it; if you substitute a paver with a building brick it just won’t stand up to regular use. That’s my professional opinion; my profession being welding.

  12. Am I incorrect or is this just a machine that the workers can lay out the brick while their standing up rather than kneeling.

    From what I saw the machine doesn’t actually do any sorting or layout, the men do.

  13. jeremiah says:

    plows do not cause brick roads problems, as plows do not actually touch the road. The little guides on either side of the plow DO touch the road, and they’re tolerant of bumps and valleys. The pavers will be fine.

    The pavers are spaced out so that freezing water will go UP rather than breaking the paver. Pavers (not bricks) are designed to channel water up and down, bricks are just bricks.

    Yes, this just lets them pave the road while standing, which I’m sure is much more comfortable, and safe. I paved a sidewalk this way as a kid and my sister dropped a brick on my head while I was doing it. that wouldn’t happen here.

    Asphalt is put onto small streets because the city has contracts with people who lay asphalt, nothing more. I grew up on a brick road and in my entire life I only saw maybe 3 bricks replaced on a 1/2 mile stretch of road. The parts that are still brick are still the same brick that was there when I was a child. The excuse that asphalt is cheaper is orphanage-grade baloney. Ask for the data on the maintenance costs, and see for yourself.

    “brick” (they’re actually called ‘pavers’ but “paved” is already taken) roads, sidewalks, and driveways are superior in almost every way to cement/asphalt alternatives, for slow traffic. Wheelchairs don’t like uneven smoothed pavers, but other than that, pavers really are a superior solution. If you can keep the pavers even and straight, not only will wheelchairs be fine, but one could rollerblade on them if they wished.

    • Peter Seed says:

      Your comments seemed right on point with respect to the following question I posed today on AOL.

      “Road Replacement: pavers versus asphalt. We live in a gated community which has a private road that with a few spurs is about two miles in total length. The community consists of 75 built out lots and 8 lots yet to be developed. (One of the original houses built within the community was demolished and replaced with a new house.) The private road was constructed with an asphalt surface about twenty-five years ago and needs to be replaced. The community has imposed a 15 mile an hour speed limit on the road. It is proposed that the road be surfaced with pavers based on the following recommendation from the community’s Long Range Planning Committee: “After having looked at concrete, asphalt, and pavers, considering the advantages and disadvantages of each product, and researching other communities with their experience it is the opinion of the Long Range Planning Committee that pavers are by far the product of choice. We are confident that for durability, flexibility, maintenance, and expected useful life of the roadway, pavers are superior to the other two products. ” In replacing the road, substantial subsurface replenishment will be required, regardless of which product is used. It is also likely that at some point in the future water and electric utlity lines will need to be installed at least in part under the new road. It is understood that once work on the subsurface is done resurfacing the subsurface with pavers will be far more expensive than the cost of resurfacing the subsurface with asphalt. Can anyone provide me with credible factual information that either confirms or refutes the Long Range Planning Committee’s recommendation? Also, does the answer to my question depend on whether flat or raised pavers will be installed? I look forward to your response. Peter Seed”

      I am personally concerned about wheelchair, bicycle, roller blader and stroller use of a road surfaced with pavers. Can you back up your claim that such a concern is easily remedied by keeping the pavers even and straight?

  14. Spyrus says:

    @jeremiah

    I would completely disagree with you that the plow doesn’t touch the road. if this were the case I wouldn’t see sparks coming off of every plow I drive past. Second, if you you consider a lot of the US has “contractors” that use their personal trucks to help plow side roads and such none of those blades have wheels on them either. They are using the scrapping motion.

    I think part of the problem is the cost of laying pavers every where across the US would get really expensive. Not to mention that stuff sucks to drive on, bike, rollerblade/skate, etc. It may look nice and you will see it in outdoor malls or around downtown centers but asphalt is cheaper and appears to be quicker to lay. Even with this cool machine

  15. K!P says:

    wel i dont think it sucks to bike on,(heck i live in the netherlands, and we like to bike). rolerblade yes, but even thats possible if layed correctly. Also: roads do get repaved, for example to replace a waterline or fix potholes, but they can re use the same bricks, try that with asphalt.

  16. Kevin says:

    I lived in New Orleans on and off for years and they have a lot of brick type
    streets that have been there seemingly forever and still in pretty decent
    shape. Alot of our road work crews are pretty competent and do good work
    in between court dates and prison sabbaticals.

  17. Jaxx says:

    America doesn’t get brick built housing let alone “brick paved” roads.

  18. Toolhearty says:

    K!P Says:
    but they can re use the same bricks, try that with asphalt.

    Actually, there are asphalt munching machines that scrape it up, heat it, and re-apply it. Just saying. Brick is cool, too. My concrete driveway is starting to look shabby, so I’m thinking of replacing it with brick.

    Kevin Says:
    Alot of our road work crews are pretty competent and do good work
    in between court dates and prison sabbaticals.

    I chortled.

  19. jeremiah says:

    @Spyrus: Well, plows around here don’t throw sparks. They’re off the ground by about half an inch at all times, and where I live it’s illegal for any other plows to throw snow off public roads. There are no jackass contractors to eff up the roads.

  20. Pedro Ventosa says:

    Probably not that cool.
    It takes four men to work the paver. Then you have the paver itself, cost and maintenance. Also, the bricks have to be exact sized.

    In Portugal, we have good tradition in street paving and skilled pavers. The bigger the brick, the faster it is layed. I’d say four pavers could compete with this machine.

    This is not the best site on “calçada” but will give you an idea:

    http://www.paviportugal.blogspot.com/

  21. K!P says:

    @pedro: most roads are laid by hand here as well, but the machine makes for better work conditions, no longer sitting on one knee for example.

  22. Bubbub says:

    Interesting. I never knew brick paved roads were durable. I thought that over time they become uneven. Not sure, but I thought I vaguely remember that they had to re-do the plaza in front of the Louvre due to said problem.

  23. Jeff says:

    I am the Public Works Director for Jamestown New York (1 hour south of Buffalo) and we currently have aprox. 75 miles of brick streets that were built from 1920’s to 1940’s. Most of our streets have held up very well over the course of 75 plus years. Those that have not are due to water main breaks, or the 6 inch concrete base below the brick starting to fail as traffic loads increase with larger trucks. Not due to plowing, which we do a fair amount of.

    The reason that we haven”t constructed a brick street in many years is the cost of labor. Back in the day the cost of immigrant labor made brick streets affordable. Blacktop paved streets can be constructed much cheaper with today’s labor cost. However long term maintenance is by far cheaper for a brick street. I have been inundated with e-mails of this product over the past couple of weeks, and I must say it is intriguing. It could even the playing field of labor. Now I just need to learn to speak German.

  24. county road admin says:

    My guess on why this is rare in the US? Unions and/or government contracts which dictate the amount of labor required to build roads.

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