I'm an engineering enthusiast but I don't yet have a formal education in engineering and I'm hoping you guys can tell me about the implications of using a metal road design in terms of durability and cost.
My (vague) idea is (for 2 lanes of road) a set of 3 rails laid down as a vertical layout for a length of road, similar to railroad tracks, which supply power for a self-deploying set if metal road panels. The horizontal panels are designed to drain water and grooved for tire traction. The way the panels self deploy isn't really important, it's just a mechanism that rides on the three rails and lays down a load of the metal panels.
The self deployment isn't really important it's just to lower the construction cost and explain the 3 rail design I had in mind.
I'm purposely being vague when I say metal, expecting answers to provide the kind of metal that would be optimal because I don't know.
It's just that we spend billions across the globe replacing roads, and while metal would obviously cost a lot more than cement, I'm really curious about whether the world would save money by building very durable roads which need to be replaced less often and which for the most part might be replaced systematically the same way they're deployed, requiring only a small fraction of the maintenance of a traditional road replacement.
Obviously the real maintenance cost of this imaginary design is unknown, my question is purely about the difference in cost for materials and the durability so I can have some basis for speculation about the viability of said design.