The Great Debate: Asphalt vs. Concrete

Which is better, asphalt or concrete? That is the question that people have been asking for years upon years upon years. And to this day, we have no definitive answer.

Yet, while there is no all-encompassing answer, both asphalt and concrete have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of project being undertaken. So before you make a pavement decision, you need to ask yourself the following set of questions:

•      Which pavement better for my specific project?

•      Which pavement will be the most cost-effective? The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) and NAPA encourage contractors to look at the long-term costs of maintenance and rehabilitation and not upfront costs.

•      Which pavement will last longer?

•      Which pavement will require the least amount of maintenance costs? 25% of roads in cities across the United States must be either rehabilitated or completely replaced in the next two years.

•      Do I want to fully replace, or rehabilitate?

“There are three main factors to consider: initial cost, time to first rehabilitation, and cost of total reconstruction or major rehabilitation at the 40- to 50-year mark,” said Dave Newcomb, P.E., PhD, vice president of research and technology with the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).

Benefits of Concrete

New construction: Concrete may be a good way to minimize future inconvenience when building new roads or expanding existing roads.

Around Underground Utilities: When separating sewer and drainage pipes (no more combined sewers), the public works department must dig out the roadway, which could present a good opportunity to go in and place longer-life pavements.

Benefits of Asphalt

Perpetual Asphalt: Asphalt also can be specified as a long-term solution. While some pavements must be completely removed and reconstructed, perpetual pavements can last indefinitely, with the only rehabilitation being milling of the surface followed by asphalt overlay. Perpetual pavement is designed to resist structural fatigue distress for at least 50 years.

Asphalt Overlay: An asphalt overlay, which can be placed on either an asphalt or concrete roadway, is fast and cost-effective to construct. The result provides a smooth, safe, durable, quiet surface for many years.

Still, there is no clear cut winner.

“If we get communities to base roadway design on total life of pavement and total capacity, concrete and asphalt are comparable in many ways,” said Scott Haislip, director of streets and roads with the ACPA.

If you have any further questions about the Differences Between Asphalt and Concrete, contact an experienced asphalt company today – a company like PTG Enterprises. The asphalt experts here have managed hundreds of pavement projects and have the experience you need. So contact PTG Enterprises aka My Pavement Guy today by calling 410-636-8777 or click here today!

Give me the opportunity to impress you. I can be your one stop ‘Pavement Guy,’ for any pavement project regardless of size or scope.

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Asphalt versus concrete

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