Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Mary:


I am interested in getting a good, general analogy for 310,000 cubic yards of concrete -
ideally as a length (miles) or distance between two US cities. Thanks!

Hi Mary,

My concrete driveway is about 8 feet wide and 4 inches deep. If it were x yards long then it would take

4/36 × 8/3 × x = 8/27 × x cubic yards of concrete.

If you have 310,000 cubic yards then

8/27 × x = 310,000

and multiplying both sides by 27/8 gives

x = 310,000 × 27/8 = 594 miles.

Find two towns or cities in your location that are about 600 miles apart and then 310,000 cubic yards of concrete will allow you to build a driveway from one to the other.


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