Asphalt Pavement Benefits
Asphalt is Smooth – A Federal Highway Administration survey showed that a smooth ride is the top priority of the traveling public. Pavement smoothness has the greatest impact on vehicle fuel economy. With this in mind the smoother the pavement, the lower the vehicle’s fuel economy. Smooth pavements also lead to lower vehicle maintenance costs due to lower wear and tear on vehicles when operated on smooth pavements. According to figures developed by Asphalt pavements can be made smooth from the start and they can be maintained with minimal interruption to the traveling public in order to keep them smooth.
Asphalt is Quiet – Studies show that noise reductions of 3 to 10 db are common. Various pavement technologies, which include open graded surface mixes such as Permeable Friction Course (PFC), contribute to this noise reduction. On PFC projects the Texas Department of Transportation was able to document noise reductions of 3db to 8db using on board sound intensity measurements (OBSI) and wayside measurements.
Note that a 3db drop is approximately the same as doubling the distance from the road to the listener.
Asphalt is Durable – Asphalt is truly the Perpetual Pavement. When appropriately designed and constructed the road simply doesn’t wear out. Maintenance is as simple as removing and replacing the top layer of the pavement structure. This can be done quickly in off peak hours often overnight so that the traveling public is inconvenienced during the business rush hour.
Asphalt is Safe – Smooth asphalt roads provide added safety to the traveling public by providing superior contact with the road. Open-graded mixes such as PFC allow water from rain events to drain through the pavement surface away from vehicle tires helping to reduce splash and spray. In Texas studies have been completed that show reductions in wet weather accidents up to 93% and reductions in fatalities by 75%.
Asphalt is Sustainable – Asphalt pavements are 100% recyclable and reusable. Asphalt is the most reused and recycled product in America. Asphalt pavements across the United States have been shown to last 30, 40, 50 and 60 years. Asphalt pavements have the lowest carbon footprint of any highway heavy pavement type.
Asphalt is Fast to Construct – Asphalt truly helps to move traffic along. Asphalt highways and roadways can undergo rehabilitation during off-peak hours. Entire roadways can be resurfaced without inconveniencing the traveling public. Fuel consumption and the emission of green house gases can be reduced by performing this work in off-peak hours. Fast construction minimizes impacts to neighborhoods and businesses due to road closures. Safety for both workers and the traveling public is improved due to a shorter overall paving time. Asphalt does not have long curing times. The roadway can be used by the traveling public the same day it was paved.