Gordon Schneider's Earth Technology

Gordon Schneider has not only made better roads with his company Earth Technology Systems, his methods may hold key to the building material of the future.

| September/October 1979

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    Roosevelt Road in South Bend, IN was a maintenance nightmare until Gordon Schneider of Earth Technology Systems treated it.
  • 059-earth-technology-roosevelt-road.jpg
    Roosevelt Road in South Bend, IN was a maintenance nightmare until Gordon Schneider of Earth Technology Systems treated it.

  • 059-earth-technology-gordon-schneider.jpg
  • 059-earth-technology-roosevelt-road.jpg

If you took a close gander at Roosevelt Road in South Bend, Indiana, what would you see? Nothing but an ordinary country scene complete with trees and shrubbery, a powerline, and an average-looking (well, maybe slightly better than average) street ... right?

Right, except for one thing. That innocent rural lane may provide some of the answers to our need for energy-efficient and ecologically sound construction. You see, that thoroughfare used to get so torn up by the harsh wear and tear of raining and freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing again that—every spring—the highway became completely impassable. School buses had to make a three-mile detour around the chuckholed road section, while patch upon patch of added asphalt cracked off ineffectively.

Yet that same road was reconstructed in 1969 using "soil stabilization" chemicals developed by a gentleman named Gordon L. Schneider. That was 10 years ago. The St. Joseph County Highway Department hasn't spent a single maintenance dollar on Roosevelt Road since, but the byway still looks brand silver-dollar-shiny new!

Using What's There

Mr. Schneider has been building highways with his Earth Technology Systems for some 18 years, so the stretch of perfect Indiana pavement is hardly a one-shot fluke. The construction chemist has been responsible for roads laid through a marshy bog in Florida, along heavily used turnpike routes in Tennessee, next to a frequently flooded national park campground in Missouri, and in scores of other places across the United States. Every one of his projects has held up perfectly, and they've all cost less (10%, 38%, 75%—even as much as 600%—less!) than do roads made by people using the accepted building methods!

Most important, though, Gordon's highways are environmentally sound. His methods "stretch" and completely recycle old asphalt so that the petrochemicals that would have gone into making each ton of the road covering can instead be made into 240 gallons of fuel oil! The construction procedures can also eliminate the need to import tons of "foundation" gravel by solidifying the underlying soil into a base that's hard enough to withstand the entire weight of a heavily used thoroughfare. Moreover, Gordon's ecologically harmless "stabilizing" agents are derived from sulfonic acid byproducts of the oil industry—materials that are otherwise dumped as waste!

As you might imagine, this simple ground—and highway—hardening system could mean incredible savings for our country in terms of materials, labor, and that all-too-precious oil supply. In fact, a conservative estimate presented to the U.S. Department of Transportation noted that—by using soil stabilizing techniques on government roads built in 1974 alone—this country could have saved 46,012,199 barrels of crude oil for an improvement in our international balance of payments of $598,158,587!


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