Officials in Gillette, Wyo., might install artificial turf -- much like the surface used for football fields -- along roads where grass is difficult to grow. Gillette has challenges maintaining grass because of its hot dry summers and mowing costs, and treatment of roads in the winter often kills roadside grass each spring. "The up-front [cost] may be a little more, but then you look at your maintenance and your irrigation. It could pay for itself," said Rick Staskiewicz, city public works director.

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