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Ask Joe: Why did NDOT spend money to line drainage ditch with pavers?

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From the Ask Joe file, we're looking into a question about how your tax dollars are being spent.

One of our viewers, Jim Hay, wrote in to ask why NDOT spent the money to install pavers at the Mount Rose Highway/I-580 Interchange.

Jim says when he drives by, he's noticed the pavers are gathering weeds and collecting water. He wants to know why the state bothered to spend the money on this.

The area we are talking about is where eastbound Mount Rose Highway turns into Northbound I-580.

I checked with NDOT about this, and they tell me this area is actually a water detention basin. It is part of the $430-million I-580 project that was built in 2012.

As for the pavers, NDOT says they were installed by design to give the detention basin a hard surface so the water drains more slowly.

Without the pavers, the area would turn into a big mud hole that would more easily erode and clog up downstream drainages. The concrete blocks essentially help to control how fast the water drains from this basin.

So that's the explanation. The fact that the area is under water raised our viewer's curiosity, but that is exactly how that drainage is designed.

So a great question from our viewer and a very interesting explanation from NDOT about how all that works.

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