The Canadian Automobile Association estimates that Canadians spend around $3 billion on vehicle upkeep yearly.
If you guess that potholes are to blame, you're correct. Roads with potholes aren't just annoying for drivers, bikers, and even those who enjoy a sidewalk stroll. They're dangerous for citizens and cost them a pretty penny, too.
So, what should cities and municipalities do? Choose suitable road-building materials, of course. Now, if you're a stakeholder debating between asphalt and paving vs. concrete flatwork, here's what you need to know.
Understanding Asphalt and Paving
Asphalt and concrete are the paving materials of choice when building a road. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. So, understanding these is key to better urban road planning and maintenance.
Asphalt is cost-efficient and completing asphalt paving construction can be done quickly. It's also ideal for places with variable temperatures.
A combination of bituminous oil, sand, and gravel, asphalt is smooth and does not absorb water. As it stands up to harsh weather conditions, motorists driving on asphalt roads can enjoy smoother rides. Asphalt surfaces are also excellent for quickly melting snow and ice, and their less rigid surfaces reduce the risk of skidding.
As for sustainability, asphalt does not leach and is recyclable. There are also low-VOC asphalt products. These are environment-friendly and healthier for workers and local communities.
The Alternative: Concrete Paving
Given the many benefits of asphalt, it might seem obvious that a paving contractor will push you towards asphalt instead of concrete. However, you should still consider the advantages of concrete for road design.
Yes, it's more expensive than asphalt, and it's not the best choice in extremely cold areas since it's prone to cracking. Still, when it comes to road maintenance, concrete roads might be a better option for certain places. Its lifespan can extend to 40 years with minimal maintenance.
Concrete roads also handle weight better than asphalt. Consider concrete paving for highways, especially those that see a large volume of trucks. Plus, concrete is 100% recyclable, allowing it to be used as a base layer in new construction and projects like gravel driveways.
Different Roads for Different Folks
Regardless of the budget for roadway construction, widening, or repairs, elected officials want the most value for their investment. The good news is as long as you know when to use asphalt or concrete, choosing the "way" to go isn't a big problem!
Just remember, for roads that see heavy truck traffic, go with concrete. For smaller communities, asphalt is the best option. Not only is it less expensive to install, but it's also easier to repair. Asphalt is also an ideal paving material in areas with much snow since it provides vehicles with better traction and skid resistance.
Are You Looking for Asphalt and Concrete Experts in The Fraser Valley?
Grandview Blacktop can help with your construction projects. We specialize in asphalt and concrete surfaces, and many developers, project builders, and public sector agencies trust us to construct and maintain their infrastructure. For your asphalt and paving needs, as well as concrete flatwork projects, you can leave it all to us.
Besides asphalt and concrete paving, we also offer site preparation services in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Feel free to browse our site to learn more about the industries we serve and our projects.