Asphalt Concrete

Asphalt concrete is a mixture of asphalt and a mineral aggregate and the mixture is used primarily for highways and driveways and other related roadways. The mixture is most commonly known simply as asphalt.

There has been an ongoing explanation for a lot of years as to which is best to use concrete or asphalt. Before that question can be answered a lot of other questions have to be answered first. For instance: what does the project require, a complete new way or just a patch work? What is the best mixture to use for the project, which will be most cost effective? Which will last the longest and how much experience does my team have with the chosen mixture?

Before you start a project there are some things to consider: what will it cost to build initially; how much time should elapse after the initial construction; and what will any repairs or reconstruction cost after the forty year mark. If the design of the roadway is based on total life of the pavement and the capacity it can hold then there is little to-no difference between asphalt and concrete. The asphalt concrete mixture has to be determined upon based on life expectancy rather than on cost alone.

Because the cost of materials fluctuates daily it is difficult to estimate the cost of maintenance and rehabilitation in long terms. Both asphalt and concrete are used in new construction but asphalt is considered to be better for thick pavement construction as it can last indefinitely. There is something known as perpetual pavement which is a combination of asphalt concrete that is estimated to have a life of fifty years. This is known as an overlay. These overlays come in various types. Although most of the roads in this country are asphalt the asphalt overlays have become popular when rebuilding the roadways. Asphalt can have any kind of overlay but the kind that is used depends on how the roadway is used and what its capacity is. Asphalt with an overlay lasts for many years without the need of rehabilitation.