What’s worse than driving on a pothole-jarring, spine-crushing monster of a road? Waiting for the three-year repair project to be finished. Thanks, DOT! But if one grad school student subverts the Machiavellian system of advanced infrastructure construction equipment, we can literally drive over a road paver while it’s doing its job—a machine that paves a road without shutting down traffic.
Gosha Galitsky, a graduate of the Umeâ Institute of Design in Sweden, designed the Dynapac Red Carpet as a machine that paves a road while cars drive over the machine. The Red Carpet trudges along at very slow speeds, laying down asphalt and heating it with microwaves. (It’s a process known as “Hot-in-Place Recycling.”) The machine mixes asphalt and a binding agent, scoops it onto the road, and rolls over it in one contained unit. By the time the machine crawls forward, the asphalt it’s paved behind it has cooled down enough to handle traffic.
Obviously, only small vehicles will be able to ride the Dynapac roller coaster. At 78.7 inches wide, Galitsky designed the Red Carpet with Volkswagen Polos in mind, and suggests that larger vehicles can use the shoulder to pass. Hey, whatever works.
Galitsky is a bicycle commuter in New York City, so his investment in road paving technology is both personal and necessary to maintain a level of sanity. Alas, this is only a flight of fancy—a design study by a particularly enterprising graduate student. Still, we can dream, can’t we? We can dream of a day when construction zones don’t stretch onwards toward the horizon; no more angry snarls of traffic; no sea of orange cones blocking our Herculean path towards our workplaces, or our homes, or our freedom. Sorry. I just got a little misty-eyed for a second. I’m fine. Thanks for asking.