Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Les, a student:

I have a sidewalk 4"thick,4ft. wide,and I have 2cubic yards of concrete. What is the length of my sidewalk?

Hi Les,

I would start by converting the measurements to yards. For example the sidewalk is 4 feet wide and there are 3 feet in a yard so the sidewalk is 4/3 yards wide.

The volume of this rectangular slab of concrete is given by length × width × thickness. Let the length be L yards then

L × (4/3) × (thickness in yards) = 2 cubic yards.

Solve for L. You may want to convert L to feet at this point.


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