Debunking Myths About Asphalt Pavement


Asphalt is made by mixing together heated cement along with stone that is dried and crushed, also known as aggregate. Sometimes other additives may be added in the process depending on the particular circumstances and/or specifications. Before the asphalt is spread onto a road surface, it is heated, mixed and smoothed first. Throughout the years, there have been an array of myths when it comes to the world of asphalt pavement.

Asphalt is Bad for the Environment

Today, factories that are in charge of producing asphalt must adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to emissions. These stringent guidelines are put in place and mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1993, the EPA and the Federal Highway Administration concluded in a study titled A Study of the Use of Recycled Paving Material, that asphalt pavement is the most recycled product in the United States.

Asphalt Only Lasts a Short Amount of Time

The fact that asphalt pavement does not last a long time could not be further from the truth. In fact, asphalt pavement can last for many years, as long as it is designed and built well. Roads that are paved with asphalt just need easy maintenance care with just a surface layer replacement periodically. Asphalt is often called perpetual pavement in the industry, due to the fact that it can last a good 15 to 20 years. Another plus side of asphalt pavement is that it is designed to withstand harsh winter weather conditions, like snow, sleet, and ice. And asphalt pavement can also withstand the impact of heavy vehicles constantly driving over it.

Asphalt is a Costly Option to Pave Roads

Some people are under the assumption that using asphalt to pave roads is an expensive option. However, asphalt is actually one of the most cost-effective options for paving roads. Initially, it is cheaper to apply asphalt pavement than concrete. Also, many times when roads are getting built or paved, the road needs to be closed, and this can greatly affect local businesses. However, the great thing about asphalt is that it can be done overnight and the road opened back up the next morning.

Asphalt Contains a High Carbon Footprint

Another myth about asphalt pavement is that it features a high carbon footprint. However, the fact of the matter is plants and factories that produce and process asphalt have a low carbon footprint when compared to plants and factories that produce and process other kinds of paving materials such as concrete. Many folks are not aware of the fact that asphalt requires fewer natural resources and also requires less energy.   


10 May 2016

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