A new concrete that repels water could be close to maintenance-free.
While concrete seems tough, cracks in vital areas can result in buildings, bridges and sidewalks becoming unsafe.
But by mixing oil, water and tiny particles into the concrete, scientists are getting close to creating a longer-lasting, water-resistant concrete.
And the researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have also been experimenting with creating concrete that can be consistently monitored remotely,
They tested their findings in a concrete slab in their parking lot, and found that embedded sensors can measure resistance between electrodes and monitor stresses to the concrete and alert scientists to any developing dangers.
The average life of a concrete road is about 40 years, but is much lower in regions where freezing and thawing are common. But the new durable, water-resistant material could last 120 years in average conditions.