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10 Interesting Facts you didn’t know about Asphalt

Thursday, January 3, 2019
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Road construction in Michigan is at one of its peak times in history! Although we may find the slowdowns and the rerouting of our typical commute to be a bit of a nuisance, it's all in an effort to make our roads safer, quieter, and more environmentally friendly.

The next time you're sitting in traffic, tapping your thumbs to the beat of your favorite song, we hope you remember these top 10 most interesting facts about asphalt and asphalt paving. 

Facts for Truckers

1. For some, driving every day is a way to make a living. Truckers, did you know that smoother pavements can reduce fuel consumption by trucks by up to 4.5 percent? This was learned in a recent study from the Federal Highway Administration.  

2. A freshly paved highway increases the comfort and smoothness of your commute in your tractor/trailer and also results in far fewer blown tires, increasing roadside safety.

For the Daily Commute

3.  Asphalt paving construction is one of the quickest forms of construction, hence why so much of the road can be worked on simultaneously.  

4. Asphalt can greatly reduce highway noise! According to a 2013 World Road Association -PIARC study, quiet asphalt pavement can help reduce highway noise by as much as 7 decibels. Instead of a conventional dense graded asphalt, quiet pavement is formulated with more air pathways. The air being trapped between the tire and the road surface is what creates the noise. With more places for the air to escape, your commute becomes much quieter. 

We can Recycle and Re-use Asphalt!

5. Asphalt is one of the most recycled products in America according to a recent survey by the National Asphalt Pavement Association.  This study showed that asphalt is recycled at a rate of over 99%. Also, when the asphalt is recycled, companies can also recycle things like shingles, metal castings, and steel and blast furnace slags to reproduce new pavement that is even stronger.


Asphalt and its History


6. Asphalt goes by a number of nicknames. It is occasionally referred to as "tarmac", “bitumen", “macadam” or “blacktop".

7. In the early 1800s, a Scottish man named John McAdam mixed sand and stone with tar to create a hard road surface, thus creating what we now refer to as "asphalt".

8. Back in the early 1990s, the production cost for asphalt was very expensive and the factories were putting out high emissions. Today, however, asphalt is not only more affordable (which helps the taxpayers) but also much safer for the environment.

9. Asphalt pavement withstands the tests of time! It has been linked to the mummification process used during ancient Egyptian dynasties.

10. Asphalt pavement will last you a very long time if preventative maintenance methods are taken. An asphalt surface only loses 40% of its condition quality in the first 75% of its life span. If you take care of your asphalt you will get a very smooth, effective, and longer-lasting surface.


Thanks for reading! If you have more questions about asphalt or if you'd like to schedule your spring consultation, contact us via our form or call us at 586-752-9060.

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