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Missouri Building Solar Panels into Pavement Along Old Route 66

This “could be the first road in history ever to pay for itself.”

by on Jun.30, 2016

The Solar Roadways blocks are also pressure sensitive and could light up to highlight a large animal or pedestrian crossing the road.

One of the most famous roads from America’s past could soon become the highway of the future, at least if a project launched by the Missouri Department of Transportation pans out.

MoDOT, as its locally known, plans to become the first public highway department to test out a new type of pavement that not only replaces conventional concrete and asphalt but which also can generate electricity through built in solar panels. The technology was developed by an Idaho-based start-up called Solar Roadways.

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“If the solar roadway concept proves to be feasible it creates electricity and could be the first road in history to ever pay for itself,” said Tom Blair, the team leader on Missouri’s Road to Tomorrow initiative, which was created two years ago to find ways to increase the state’s investment in its roadway infrastructure without raising taxes.