Discover Why Concrete is Your Best Choice for Paving Projects

If you require paving services, you probably already know that you have two choices:
concrete or asphalt. So which of the two is the best choice? We'll give you a quick
rundown of their differences, and how they relate to paving projects.

Physical Differences Between Concrete and Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt is made of aggregates (stone, sand, gravel) and liquid asphalt, the oil-
based glue which is the glue that holds everything together. Concrete is made from
American materials such as limestone, rock and water. Concrete is also the most-used
manmade material in the world.

Safety Differences Between Paving with Concrete or Asphalt

Areas paved with asphalt require more maintenance than those paved with concrete.
As a result, there is less need for repair crews to handle maintenance of concrete streets
and parking lots. This means less congestion and disruption to work areas, and less
danger to road crews and drivers alike.

Rigid concrete is also more durable than asphalt. This means that streets paved with
concrete are less likely to have potholes. The surface of concrete is also better at
preventing automobile skidding, keeping drivers and their families safe.

Cost Differences of Building & Maintenance of Paving Materials

Concrete pavement's life can range anywhere from 20-40 years. But when you factor in
annual maintenance, asphalt pavement can cost four to seven times as much money to
maintain. This saves you long-term on repair and maintenance.

One recent article from an Iowa newspaper featured a town's decision to pave their
roads with either asphalt or concrete. It was pointed out that while a concrete street
would need little maintenance over a 30 year period, an asphalt street would require a
major resurfacing in just 15 years. A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of
Transportation also stated that "asphalt pavement is projected to require major
rehabilitation in approximately half the time as the concrete pavement." So paving with
concrete means less need for maintenance over the life of your street. The full article
can be found here.

Environmental Differences of Paving Materials

Concrete is 100% recyclable, and the most recycled construction material in the world.
So rather than ending up in your state's landfills, it can be broken down and used in new
pavement, or for other construction purposes.

but a parking lot with better visibility can make people feel safer. Since concrete pavement requires less repair and maintenance over time. but with less lights needed. By reducing the amount of fuel used by cars. but trucks use less fuel when traveling on concrete. which makes your business more inviting. and less need to run the air conditioner. Concrete is light. A 2007 study (PCA Report SN2982) was done that proved lighter paving materials reflected light the best. for 86 years straight. operate. and environmental impact. America's Federal Highway Administration also reported that roughly 1. Concrete roads are more durable than asphalt roads. and increased safety. That keeps the cost of transporting goods down. Another study (Stark 1986) also proved that work areas with concrete pavement required less lighting than asphalt pavements. And that's just what is wasted on fuel in only one year. Since lighter colored pavement reflects indoor light better. exactly? Enough to fill up the tank on a Ford F- 350 pick-up truck every day of the year. trucks and maintenance equipment. . having a concrete parking lot means better lighting. And as most people know. So how much fuel is 1. which means less waste of electricity for air conditioning.According to a Federal Highway Administration technical advisory (T5080. concrete paving is obviously the best choice for street paving and construction Summary: 1. and naturally reflective. and the same applies to paving materials. there would be more money saved when it came time to install. Dark colors absorb more heat. and absorbs more heat. and it means lower emissions from vehicles. or maintain them. Not only that. So what difference does all that really make? For one. we reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. So Which Building Material is Right for You? When it comes to safety.2 billion gallons. less energy and fuel is needed for heavy construction equipment. it keeps the areas around the pavement cooler. Asphalt is black. it means you get the same visibility. For businesses that operate at night. less lighting means less heat. How Concrete Affects Lighting & Electric Bills As you probably already know. durability.3). That study also pointed out that with less lights. Not only will it be easier for people to see. it takes over five times as much diesel fuel to make asphalt than it does to make concrete for a road designed for the same amount of traffic.2 billion gallons of diesel could be saved every year if paving was done with concrete instead of asphalt. it's best to wear bright or white clothing if you want to reflect the sun on hot days.

quick research would find that for the first time in history. however. This is the main reason concrete pavement is used for bus stops. Asphalt roads have better skid resistance and provide good traction.  During construction. In the end. Concrete roads are not damaged from oil leaks. Couple this new reality with the other key life-cycle facts you cite in your article and you have a more informative document that tells the story that we as tax payers deserve to know – that concrete pavements. it can be smaller in scope when having to replace select concrete areas.  Concrete can be colored and/or stamped into a pattern that can be aesthetically appealing. While there are some recognized benefits to selecting one material over the other. the life-cycle cost of concrete can be comparable to that of asphalt. concrete bids are coming in lower than asphalt. Maintenance is easier with asphalt roads. such as life expectancy. has driven up asphalt prices greatly. Frequent repairs are not needed for concrete roads when compared to asphalt roads. In fact. dollar for dollar. and even loading docks and warehouse slabs. 4. 5.  Since concrete does not rut. are better value than asphalt pavements. The significance of the latter item is substantial if you investigate: what were once waste products (used for asphaltic bitumen) are now refined to higher value products via the use of cokers. it takes less time to lay an asphalt road than a concrete road. Thanks for considering and researching this important information further to the end of being more accurate in your information provided to the world. Maintenance of a part of the asphalt road is possible. like asphalt roads. Extreme weather conditions are liable to damage asphalt roads more than concrete roads. Concrete roads come with a higher paving cost than asphalt roads. Many issues. personal preference and . ease and cost of maintenance.  The increased stiffness of concrete makes it able to withstand heavier wheel loads without risk of rutting. concrete is less dependent upon the subgrade soils and is better able to “bridge” soft spots. and long-term smoothness are hotly debated in the industry. 6. Update : The statement that concrete costs more than asphalt has become obsolete with the substantial increase in oil prices and reduction in asphaltic bitumen. areas of heavy truck traffic. Snow melts faster on asphalt roads than on concrete roads. which reduces the chance of vehicles hydroplaning. When maintenance is required. concrete and asphalt pavements are either on par or often. there is less risk of water accumulation on the pavement. Moreover. 3. These cokers have consequently reduced the amount of bitumen available for use in asphalt pavements which. of course.2. (Credit : Rob Wallace) Some reasons concrete pavements are selected include:  Concrete pavements are typically more expensive initially. many political factors come into play.  Routine maintenance can be reduced for some concrete pavements.

concrete (cement) is produced from abundantly available limestone. concrete roads do not get damaged by the leaking oils from the vehicles or by the extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat.  Disadvantages of Concrete Roadways o Paving cost: The paving cost of the concrete road is little higher compared to asphalt paving.E. when run over a concrete road. is associate/ pavement engineer and division manager with CTL|Thompson Materials Engineers Inc.. but many countries are replacing concrete roads with asphalt because it is cheaper. consumes 15-20% less fuel than that on asphalt roads. o Greener process: Asphalt (bitumen) produces lots of highly polluting gases at the time of melting it for paving. the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced. the reserve of which is becoming reduced drastically. despite concrete roads having some major advantages. P. Also.  If you have traveled from Pune to Mumbai by road then you might have noticed the beautiful concrete expressway. whereas asphalt roads last for ten years.. More over. At the same time. o Resistant to automobile fuel spillage and extreme weather: Unlike asphalt roads.  Advantages of Concrete Roadways o Durability and maintenance free life: Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years. construction costs are often the deciding factor in whether to select asphalt or concrete for the paving material. o Vehicles consume less fuel: A vehicle..  Advantages of Asphalt (Bitumen) Road . some popular highways are still in asphalt. This is because of the fact that a concrete road does not get deflected under the wheels of loaded trucks. o Saving of natural resources: Asphalt (bitumen) is produced from imported petroleum. Concrete Roads vs Asphalt Roads written by: Suvo • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 8/17/2010 Asphalt roads wear more than concrete roads. Denver. less fuel consumption by the vehicle running on a concrete road means less pollution. the materials engineering and construction observation division of CTL|Thompson Inc. o Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks. In almost all the new major road construction you can see the use of concrete rather than asphalt these days. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the different road paving surfaces in this article. during this service life concrete road do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads. — Damon Thomas. o Safety features: In rainy and the winter season vehicles tend to slip or slide on concrete road due to rain and snow. On the other hand.

when run over a concrete road. Concrete Roads vs Asphalt Roads Asphalt roads wear more than concrete roads.  Disadvantages of Asphalt (Bitumen) Road o Durability: heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions damage the asphalt road.  Conclusion Concrete roads are highly durable and more environmentally friendly as compared to asphalt roads. Saving of natural resources: Asphalt (bitumen) is produced from imported petroleum. consumes 15-20% less fuel than that on asphalt roads. 2. Resistant to automobile fuel spillage and extreme weather: Unlike asphalt roads. Advantages of Concrete Roadways 1. Durability and maintenance free life: Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years. 3. less fuel consumption by the vehicle running on a concrete road means less pollution. during this service life concrete road do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads. it takes less time to build a asphalt road than a concrete road. concrete (cement) is produced from . o Easy maintenance: Repairing just a prt of the asphalt road is easily possible. o Weather Pollution: Melting asphalt produces lots of harmful green house gases. and the roads need to be repaired frequently. However asphalt paving costs far less than concrete paving. o Economical: Asphalt is still less costly compared to concrete. On the other hand.) o Recyclable: Asphalt is a recyclable material. o Safe: Asphalt roads provide better traction and skid resistance for vehicles. concrete roads do not get damaged by the leaking oils from the vehicles or by the extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat. the reserve of which is becoming reduced drastically. (Asphalt dries faster. whereas asphalt roads last for ten years. 4. but many countries are replacing concrete roads with asphalt because it is cheaper. This is because of the fact that a concrete road does not get deflected under the wheels of loaded trucks. Asphalt tends to help keep roads free from ice and snow. Vehicles consume less fuel: A vehicle. Also. 3. Moreover. It can be used again and again by melting it. Also. More over. asphalt road provides a little better safety of the vehicle against snow and skidding. Also costly petroleum is required to produce asphalt. Greener process: Asphalt (bitumen) produces lots of highly polluting gases at the time of melting it for paving. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the different road paving surfaces in this article. despite concrete roads having some major advantages. Asphalt roads even can be relayered over the old layer.

Economical: Asphalt is still less costly compared to concrete. Conclusion Concrete roads are highly durable and more environmentally friendly as compared to asphalt roads. Also costly petroleum is required to produce asphalt. . It can be used again and again by melting it.) 2. and the roads need to be repaired frequently. Disadvantages of Concrete Roadways 1. Asphalt roads even can be relayered over the old layer. it takes less time to build a asphalt road than a concrete road. However asphalt paving costs far less than concrete paving. Paving cost: The paving cost of the concrete road is little higher compared to asphalt paving. Asphalt tends to help keep roads free from ice and snow. Also. 4. Safe: Asphalt roads provide better traction and skid resistance for vehicles. Advantages of Asphalt (Bitumen) Road 1. 3. Recyclable: Asphalt is a recyclable material. Maintenance Problem: In case the concrete road breaks. Safety features: In rainy and the winter season vehicles tend to slip or slide on concrete road due to rain and snow. (Asphalt dries faster. Weather Pollution: Melting asphalt produces lots of harmful green house gases. 2. Easy maintenance: Repairing just a part of the asphalt road is easily possible.abundantly available limestone. Moreover. 3. 2. Durability: heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions damage the asphalt road. asphalt road provides a little better safety of the vehicle against snow and skidding. Disadvantages of Asphalt (Bitumen) Road 1. the whole concrete slab needs to be replaced.