When we see the orange barrels accompanied by the sign…ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD, we instantly think of the inconvenience we are going to be plagued with. In the back of our minds we remember this same process occurred two years ago! Why are the road being redone so soon? Perhaps asphalt is an inferior product and we need to choose a product that is durable and has longevity.
When we look at the history of asphalt, we find just that….durability and longevity! Asphalt pavements have played an important role in changing the American landscape since the early 19th century. In fact the history of asphalt dates back before even the founding of the Americas! The first recorded use of asphalt as a road building material was in Babylon around 615 BCE. The Romans used asphalt to seal their baths, reservoirs, and aqueducts. So asphalt has been a product that has proven to with stand the test of time.
LONGEVITY- When designed properly, asphalt pavements have the ability to last forever. What we consider to be an “inconvenience” is routine maintenance that is essential to contribute to the longevity of our roadways. This regular maintenance can be performed with minimal traffic disruption and significantly improves the ride quality and fuel consumption of the vehicles traveling on them.
FASTER COMPLETIONS- When well planned, asphalt paving projects and repairs can be completed during off-peak periods, like nights and weekends. Once asphalt is compacted and cooled it is ready for vehicle use. This allows for better traffic flow and minimizes the impact on commerce and the need for excessive lengthy road closures.
ECONOMICAL & ADAPTABLE- Since asphalt can be designed to fit a specific purpose, it can be adapted to withstand low or high traffic conditions. Asphalt is a reliable weather resistant material and can stand up to the harshest weather. Asphalt is a low-cost building material. It is not only inexpensive but asphalt repair projects turnaround times are shorter which also reduces overall costs.
SUSTAINABILITY- Asphalt is a wise choice when choosing road material as it is a recyclable material. It can be used over and over, and its life cycle never ends. 80 percent of asphalt pavement removed each year from resurfacing and road widening projects is reused as part of new roads, roadbeds, shoulders, and embankments. Since asphalt occurs naturally on both asphalt lakes and in rock asphalt, we are taking steps to preserve our natural resources.
SAFETY- Due to its adaptability, the finish that asphalt pavement provides reduces splash back on rainy days and drivers have better visual distinction between road markings. Asphalt also provides driver skid resistance and keeps the roads free from ice and snow.