Most of us probably take for granted the roads we drive on every day— not to mention the lots and driveways we park our cars into, too. What do they have in common? Well, most of the time they are made of asphalt— the unsung, everyday hero of roadway construction.
Benefits of Asphalt
Asphalt makes construction faster
Pavements made of asphalt are very fast to construct. This is because the material needs 0 “cure” time, which ultimately means usable roads as soon as the last construction truck rolls out.
Asphalt is smooth
The smooth uniformity of asphalt pavements creates a safer and more enjoyable ride for all drivers— which can’t be said for other pavement types. Rough and uneven roads interfere with the driver’s control over their vehicle, which can prove dangerous for everyone in the vicinity. The smoothness of asphalt roads also assists in the reduction of rolling resistance (i.e. the friction between pavement and tires), which ultimately means greater fuel economy and minimized carbon dioxide emissions.
Asphalt is durable
Asphalt pavements are flexible and have a bridging action— meaning that they are able to withstand occasional overloading without suffering any sort of concerning damage. They typically are constructed to last for long periods of time, only needing to be repaired every 25-30 years to guarantee their extended lifetime.
Asphalt is quiet
Roads made of asphalt are basically able to absorb road noise because of the open- and fine-graded surfaces used in the material. They can reduce freeway noise up to seven decibels (that’s a lot!).
The smooth, durable nature of asphalt roads saves money for everyone involved. Asphalt’s nature reduces wear and tear on all vehicles on the road because of the fewer bumps involved. Additionally, increasing a road’s smoothness by an estimated 25% extends its overall lifespan— up to about 10%— which ultimately saves taxpayers from having to pay for brand new road and highway construction.