During the past 100 years, Bridgeville’s brick roads have been disappearing, largely for economic reasons.
Brick roads last far longer than asphalt roads, they’re attractive, and they’re a reminder of the region’s past. But brick roads are expensive to maintain, in terms of both materials and labor.
Asphalt roads are relatively cheap and don’t require public works employees to get on their hands and knees to re-fit each 8-inch by 3-inch section.
A group of residents will ask Bridgeville council during the Monday, May 11, meeting to help preserve the borough’s few remaining brick roads by forming a committee tasked with saving the roads.
“To me, it’s history,” Mary Weise, Bridgeville Historical Society president, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “A brick street that lasts 90 years, don’t you think it’s on the feasible side (to save it)?”
Weise’s goal is to make Bridgeville’s history a tourist attraction.
[Larry] Godwin, a historical society board member, said one of the biggest problems is utility companies that do underground work and pave the streets with asphalt rather than brick as required in a borough ordinance.
“If the borough isn’t going to enforce it, (companies) patch (the streets) with asphalt, the easy way,” he said.
Godwin said the bricks serve as a reminder of [local industrialist C.P.] Mayer’s contribution to the borough.
“The historical society would like to promote the preservation of these streets as a legacy to this early industrialist and this town,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, a company has invented a machine that “prints” brick roads — up to 400 yards per day — by arranging the bricks into a feeder. The Tiger-Stone costs about $100,000.