The Mt. Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire has been in operation since 1861 and has hosted motorsport events since 1904. Racer Travis Pastrana broke the hillclimb record there twice, and it’s a popular tourist destination with more than 45,000 driving the road annually in recent years. A five-mile section needed to be paved, but the narrow Auto Road proved a challenge to cover in asphalt.
The road is incredibly narrow, with little runoff and cliffs lining most of it, leaving little room to maneuver the paving equipment. This forced the drivers to reverse their dump trucks up the five-mile stretch so they could pave it without getting stuck on the mountain behind the fresh asphalt.
In one of the photos, the large, three-axle dump truck looks massive on the road, but there’s plenty of room for it and the road crew. However, there’s not enough room for the dump truck to turn around – it’s too long, and the road is too narrow for such an endeavor.
In 2021, Travis Pastrana was able to shave 16 seconds off his previous time in 2017, setting a new time of 5:28.67. He did it in a Subaru WRX STI that packed a turbocharged 2.3-liter flat-four that made a whopping 862 horsepower (623 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque, far more than the 600-hp WRX STI he used in 2017.
The hillclimb event is no joke, running 7.6-miles (12.2-kilometers) up Mt. Washington Auto Road, which features a 12 percent grade and an uneven surface. Gone will be the five-mile stretch of dirt, which should present new challenges to the drivers. It’s also considered one of the most demanding motorsport events in the US.
Mt. Washington Auto Road commended Central Paving’s crew and their drivers in the company’s Facebook post about the paving, which took a few days to complete. We can imagine it was a challenge reversing the long dumb truck up the narrow road, which has little room for error, and some sections feature tight corners.