Route 66 is getting a facelift: it’s going Solar. The State of Missouri plans to make Route 66 a Solar Roadway using intelligent panels to generate revenue and benefit the environment.
Clean Technica reports that as part of Missouri’s Road to Tomorrow initiative, Route 66 will become a Solar Roadway. Tom Blair, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) engineer who heads Road to Tomorrow, said:
“It gets Missouri and MoDOT prepared for 21st century innovations. We expect them to be in place, I’m hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before snow flies. If [Solar Roadway’s] version of the future is realistic, if we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves.”
Trending: Science is Settled
Depending on the success or failure of renovating Route 66, other states may follow Missouri’s example. Solar Roadways are tempered-glass roads, which are intelligently designed and capable of producing revenue.
The panels have microprocessors in each panel that enable them to communicate with each other. If a panel is broken, it can be easily repaired because it is modular. The Idaho-based company that designs them describes them as “energy-generating roads” that have a
“a modular system of specially-engineered solar panels that can be walked and driven upon. Our panels contain LED lights to create lines and signage without paint [and] contain heating elements to prevent snow and ice accumulation.”
Inhabitat reports that Solar Roadways were first funded through a research contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation. TrueActivist first reported on these panels, which prompted an IndieGoGo campaign that raising $2 million for the initiative.
Learn more from this fun video: