America’s Roads and Asphalt Paving

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According to the Federal Highway Administration, America has nearly 4.1 million miles of public roads. Over 1.3 million miles of these are unpaved, while around 1.8 million are paved. Asphalt paving covers approximately 796,000 miles of road, while 158,000 miles are covered with concrete.

To ensure that all of these roads, as well as new ones, continue to be paved, there are approximately 3,500 asphalt mix production sites located throughout the United States. On an annual basis, these sites produce a combined amount of approximately 350 million tons of asphalt paving material. In addition to publicly-funded projects, this industry also handles residential and non-residential projects. The current market for public projects is 65% and 35% for the non-public projects.

It’s amazing to consider that America’s roads are covered with approximately 18 billion tons of asphalt pavement. When paving contractors, asphalt contractors, and other industry professionals construct new roads, the material from old roads is recycled to construct new ones. It’s significant to note that the asphalt pavement industry actually reclaims over 99% of the asphalt used in prior projects for use during future projects.

When considering the need to reuse and repurpose materials to avoid waste, when it comes to recycling, the asphalt industry is considered to be the number one recycler in the United States. In 2009, for example, the amount of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) was 56 million tons, and in 2010, 62.1 million tons.

Asphalt paving is not just used for roads; it’s also used to cover America’s runways. Given the 3,330 FAA National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems’ runways, 85-to-90% are surfaced with asphalt.

The U.S. also has approximately 500 million surfaced parking lots, most of which are surfaced with asphalt. In fact, given that over 90% of these parking areas are paved with asphalt, It continues to be the preferred material for developers.

Even though seal coating is applied to extend the longevity of these roads, there is still a need for ongoing asphalt repair. It’s also important to keep in mind the cost of maintenance. When asphalt paving is smoother, is can make a major difference in keeping maintenance costs down, from approximately 10-to-25%.

Along with America’s roads, runways and parking lot repairs are also needed on a regular basis. Seal coating can also extend the longevity of these vital areas.

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