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.”
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: