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The leaves are beginning to change color and there is an invigorating briskness to the air; take advantage of the ideal conditions to tackle some outdoor maintenance with this checklist.

  • Remove, clean and store your outdoor furniture and accessories
  • Prepare for a summer’s busy outdoor entertaining schedule by sanding and staining deck and patio surfaces now
  • Spruce up your landscaping by replacing mulch or rocks and planting hardy bushes that can withstand colder temperatures. Fall is also a great time for grass to take root, so consider reseeding any sparse areas.
  • Clean your gutters before the weather makes it more difficult, removing all debris so that water from rain and melting snow can drain properly.
  • Get a jump start on your holiday decorating and minimize exposure to harsh elements by hanging your Christmas lights now!

While it may be tempting to hang out indoors and watch football, you’ll be glad you took care of these tasks while the weather was nice. Happy autumn from Leritz and Busy Bee!

Roads take us a lot of places; to see friends and family, away to school or on vacations. Roads can also give us experiences or feelings, like when the tunes are up and the windows are down! Roads can be the pathway to special occasions, lasting memories and feelings of freedom.

Do you have a favorite road? Now there is a place to share stories and even photos of your favorite road. FavoriteRoad.com is an online community for those passionate about the open road. Users can share about their favorite roadways or learn about the “Favorite Roads of Famous People,” the website also gives a history lesson on the origins on roads.

One particularly interesting story comes from a pair who shared the story of their journey across Highway 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis, they even wrote a book about it, “Driving Across Missouri: A Guide to I-70.” Ted and LuAnne share beautiful observations on a road that many of us might consider just a part of our commute.

Next time you’re on your morning drive, stop and consider the beauty of the roadway around you. And check out FavoriteRoad.com to share your thoughts!

A new white paper from the Asphalt Pavement Alliance sheds light on the beneficial effects asphalt pavements can have on water quality.

According to Dr. Howard Marks, principal author of the report “Cleaner Water with Asphalt Pavements,” the green benefits of 100 percent recyclable asphalt pavement might be surprising to some. Asphalt pavement s are clean and environmentally beneficial for improved stormwater management, clean drinking water and reduced roadside pollution.

One common misconception is that asphalt pavements leach petroleum into the earth, this is not the case. In fact, asphalt pavements have several eco-friendly benefits including the fact that smooth asphalt pavements save fuel and overall has a small carbon footprint compared to other paving materials.

To download a free copy of the study and learn more about the benefits of asphalt, click here.

Harnessing the Heat

In the dog days of summer you may feel the heat radiating off of pavement surfaces, can we find a way to harness the heat for good?

Thermal energy has been used for decades to warm eco-friendly pools, but tech company Novotech has patented an idea known as Roadway Power Systems. Michael Hulen, Novotech founder, says the technology has many practical applications. For example, a hotel with a large parking lot could run a piping system under the pavement, using the heat absorbed by the asphalt to heat water for laundry and shower, reducing energy consumption. The captured heat can also create electrical power by creating high-pressure steam. This steam can spin a turbine and produce kilowatts or even megawatts of power.

Unlike conventional solar systems, asphalt retains heat even after the sun goes down, therefore it could continue producing energy even after sundown. Novotech estimates that a two-acre parking lot could cool a 30,000 square foot building. While the technology is still in the beginning phases and has yet to be rolled-out in large scale, it certainly seems to have promise in harnessing the heat!

For more information on Roadway Power Systems, click here.

Exploding Pavement?

Recent record-setting heat is causing serious problems in some parts of the country; recent pavement blowups in Iowa have forced the Department of Transportation to issue a warning to motorists, urging them to pay special attention to pavement surfaces when driving in temperatures above 90 ° F.

Pavement blowups occur when a wet period is followed by periods of extreme heat. Water stays in the cracks in pavement surface, then thermal expansion forces the pavement to buckle and shatter. The blowups pose a safety risk for motorists as well as costing the state additional money for repairs. The Iowa Department of Transportation estimates that pavement blowups cost the state $400,000 annually in road repair as well as an additional 2-4,000 hours of manpower making temporary repairs.

Motorists are urged to use caution and reduce speed when approaching broken pavement areas.