While road construction is often the bane of drivers everywhere, there is one item that drivers take for granted on their daily commute. The asphalt they drive on makes up more than 90% of highways and roads; without it, the roads would be a lot different. Asphalt isn’t nearly as dull as many people believe, and to prove it, we’re listing 7 interesting facts about asphalt.
There’s a lot of money that the federal government puts into investing in constructing our national highways. The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates that there’s one year of support for 13,000 jobs for every $1 billion invested in transit and highways. The total number includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs. A direct job is created by government expenditure for a project, and an indirect job is created from producing and supplying the materials for the project, while an induced job comes from elsewhere in the economy.
Asphalt Is … Recycled?
When you think of recycled items, you probably think about cardboard, plastic, or paper. Most of the general public doesn’t realize that asphalt is not only recycled; it’s the most recycled product in the United States. The Pavement Association of Oregon states that the asphalt reclaims 100 million tons of asphalt each year, and AsphaltPavement.org notes that the recycling rate of asphalt is over 99% and saves taxpayers over $300 million annually.
You’re probably wondering what connects mummies to asphalt. Asphalt from the Dead Sea was often used in Egypt as part of the mummification process. In fact, the word mummy derives from the Persian or Arabic word ‘mummiya’, which means ‘tar’ or ‘bitumen’, which are common words for asphalt.
Asphalt Can Last A While
Asphalt paving lasts anywhere between 18 to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. However, many factors affect asphalt’s longevity. These factors include how often it’s used, the climate, proper drainage, and the composition of the underlying substrate.
The most noticeable aspect of highways and city traffic is the noise levels. The decibel level of a truck or car ranges from 80 to 70dB, which is considered very loud and loud, respectively. With that many vehicles on the road, people look for ways to buffer the noise. One way to do that is by using asphalt, which makes vehicles quieter by up to 5 decibels. Combined with a sound barrier, asphalt can bring noise levels down to a moderate level or lower.
Helps Lower Fuel Consumption
When driving, you want to conserve as much fuel as possible. What you may not have realized is that the condition of the road can also help reduce your fuel consumption. A study by the Federal Highway Commission found that smoother pavements reduce fuel consumption by 4.5%
Better Storm Water Management
Stormwater management isn’t just about the sewer system but also has to do with the roads. Since asphalt is porous, it helps to reduce runoff by absorbing the water into the pavement structure, allowing the water to filter through to the ground under the pavement and back into the water table.
Whether you’re looking for a new asphalt parking lot or have questions about care and maintenance, we’re the place for you. Pro-Pave, Inc. is a premier commercial concrete and asphalt paving company that serves HOAs, general contractors, and property managers in the Mid-Atlantic area. We can handle jobs of all sizes, and we’re VDOT-certified, Class-A licensed, and fully bonded and insured for any job.
To learn more about our services, visit our website or contact us today.
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