Why is asphalt used for the majority of roads and highway projects in America? It’s simple. Asphalt is one of the easiest construction material to create, lay and set. Whether you need a small walkway, a driveway or a highway, asphalt can do it all and do it well. While asphalt does need routine maintenance and repair, asphalt can take the punishment of cars and other vehicles driving over it constantly throughout the day.
Asphalt is primarily used as asphalt concrete. Asphalt concrete is the technical term for the roads and highways you drive on everyday. It makes up more than 85 percent of the asphalt utilized in the US. Asphalt concrete is typically made up of aggregates and bitumen, usually at a 95 to 5 percent ratio. There are more than 4,000 asphalt concrete plants alone throughout America, making it one of the most used and produced building material in the country. Asphalt is used for more than just roads, but it’s primary use has been the same for decades.
One thing about asphalt concrete many consumers or drivers might not know is that it’s the most recycled material in America. Most asphalt concrete is made out of reused materials from older asphalt projects, along with reclaimed asphalt when a road is broken up. Once the material is reheated, remixed and reset, it’s as good as new and can be used in roads, highways and driveways anywhere. More than 99 percent of highway asphalt removed from a road is reused somewhere in the continental United States.
Asphalt is part of everyone’s daily life whether they realize it or not. Most people walk, drive or ride to and fro without thinking about what makes that possible under their feet. Without asphalt, life could be much rougher getting from here and there, and thanks to asphalt concrete, we can get to places without a bumpy ride. The next time you drive, take a moment to appreciate asphalt, because without it, your commute would be much more interesting and rocky.