The Complexity of Asphalt Paving

It is common knowledge that the majority of the roads in the United States are made from asphalt. In general, people do not put much thought into the roads that they drive on as long as the roads take people to where they need to be on time. Because of this, it is easy to forget how amazing and complex asphalt is and all the effort that is placed into asphalt paving. Asphalt paving involves various factors such as the materials and the actual process of how the asphalt is used to produce quality roads, parking lots, and driveways. The production of asphalt materials and how it is paved has a lower effect on the environment than most other pavement materials.

The exact numbers indicate that using asphalt pavement specifically uses 20% less energy than other materials ¹. Essentially, if the majority of the roads in the United States are made from asphalt, and if asphalt is the material of choice for the environment, then the United States is looking in good shape in this regard. Additionally, like I have mentioned in my previous blog, driving on smooth asphalt can save more gasoline rather than driving on more rough asphalt. Another amazing fact is that 99% of asphalt materials are recycled and re-used. In addition to this, asphalt incorporates other materials such as tires and other rubber products ¹.

Another worthy fact is that perpetual pavement lasts a long time. It is a matter of maintaining the asphalt so that keeping a road is possible in the long-run ¹. Thus, when asphalt pavement is built to last, it will not only save people money but it will save the environment as well. The nature of perpetual pavement is one of the “green” sides of asphalt paving.

Additionally, asphalt pavement does not generate a lot of traffic noise compared to other type of pavement. Furthermore, porous asphalt can be a great solution to manage storm water ¹.

When all of these factors are taken into consideration, asphalt paving can be properly seen for what it is, a complex system of materials and processes. The million-dollar question to ask should be, is my paving contractor knowledgeable and paying attention to all of these factors? Carefully choosing the appropriate paving contractor is important, especially here in the Bay Area! When considering the legal factors especially here in California, having a properly maintained parking lot that your customers can safely use is crucial. I will have more blogs in the future regarding all of these subjects. Stay tuned.

 

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References:

  1. Environment. Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA). May 8th, 2013

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