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Rubber Sidewalks Shoving Concrete Out Of The Way In DC

7:24 PM, May 26, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The Department of Transportation is installing rubber slabs instead of concrete on some sidewalks.

"It makes me want to tap dance," said Lee Williams.

Rubber sidewalks were first installed in the Northeast section of the city at Rhode Island Avenue and North Capitol Street about four years ago; it's an area that needed constant maintenance.

DDOT says the rubber plates have proven to be very durable;  there are no cracks or chips, and they even made it though the harsh winter.

John Thomas, Associate Director of the Urban Forestry Administration says, "If you'd seen this before, it would be a quite a challenge for pedestrians, so it could force you to go around the tree into the street. It is providing a way for everyone to continue the way they originally planned." 

Anoop Gupta, who is one of many who walk on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue everyday, says, "I have seen in certain areas, the roots may bulge out of the concrete, thereby cracking the concrete, it becomes a tripping hazard."

The flexible rubber plates are good for trees because protected roots means healthier trees. 

DDOT hopes to expand the use of rubber sidewalks into other parts of the city.

Written by Alex Trevino
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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