Friday, August 31, 2012

Constructing Paths

I am far from an exhibit fabrication expert, but I did notice a trend at battlefields and historic sites this summer: new rubberized paths.

Not just paths, either. Some places had entire swathes of ground covered in what appeared - to my eye - to be shredded rubber (perhaps recycled tires?) fixed into place in a slightly mounded path. The overall effect was to mimic mulch.

Here's an example from Fredericksburg.
Here's the edge of a patch of rubber that was placed around an exhibit panel near the Burnside Bridge at Manassas.
Walking on it felt spongy and light and even. I would imagine that it would provide good traction and be more accessible to anyone with a physical handicap than the traditional stone dust or asphalt paths. Though it's not immediately apparent from the photographs, if you look at it closely there are quite a few openings between the shreds, which means it probably drains quite well.

Here's the alternative - the badly eroded path up Big Round Top at Gettysburg
Certainly this style of footing wasn't everywhere, but I liked walking on it every time I saw it. It's definitely something I'd think about were I ever to be thinking about an outdoor walk or path.

Does anyone know what the technical term for this material is? Has anyone seen it anywhere but National Parks?

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