TOM GREENWOOD

Dutch offer quick way to pave a road with bricks

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Whether you call it road printing or road paving, the Dutch have come up with a pretty nifty way to lay down brick roads.

Vanku, an industrial company in the Netherlands, has invented an automatic brick paver called the Tiger Stone Paving Machine that automatically produces a brick road.

It’s hard to picture, but imagine a machine that spits out a patterned brick road in 13-, 16- and 20-foot widths. Fork lift operators feed bricks into a hopper on the electric machine.

Workers (usually no more than three) on a catwalk just above the prepared road bed feed the bricks into the hopper, which automatically packs them together by gravity. The machine then slides the brick roadway onto a sand base between two curbs. Another worker uses a machine to tamp the roadway into the sand.

The machine is capable of changing the pattern of the bricks as it moves along, producing herringbone, side-by-side or any other number of patterns.

The paver costs from $81,000 to $108,00 and can move at 13 feet per minute and lay more than 5,000 bricks in an average work day.

While the machine is amazing, it’s largely impractical for a place like Michigan.

It could never be used for high-speed primary roads or any road that is maintained by snow plows.

But it might be OK for secondary roads, picturesque residential streets, town squares, club house drives and private driveways or as a way to reach the Emerald City of Oz.

You can see the paving machine in action at www.geek.com.

tgreenwood@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2023

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