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Difference Between Concrete and Asphalt Roads

road-pdConcrete and Asphalt Roads

Many materials are used for construction works. Concrete and asphalt are widely used for construction as they are reliable and strong. Different materials have different properties, and as such, concrete and asphalt have many differences between them. These two types of roads have many advantages and disadvantages.

When talking about the difference between concrete and asphalt roads, one of the main differences can be seen in the durability. Concrete roads are more durable than asphalt roads. Moreover, concrete roads have a longer life than asphalt roads. Another difference that can be seen is that frequent repairs are not needed for concrete roads when compared to asphalt roads. Extreme weather conditions are liable to cause more damage to asphalt roads than concrete roads.

One more thing that can be noticed is that concrete roads are not damaged from oil leaks, like asphalt roads.

Another difference that can be noticed is that maintenance is easier with asphalt roads. Maintenance of a part of the asphalt road is possible. Moreover, these roads can be re-layered, which is not that easy with concrete roads.

When comparing the cost, concrete roads come with a higher paving cost than asphalt roads. Moreover, it takes less time to lay an asphalt road than a concrete road.

With regards to safety, asphalt roads provide better safety for vehicles. When compared to concrete roads, asphalt roads have better skid resistance and provide good traction. Snow melts faster on asphalt roads than on concrete roads.

When looking at the environmental aspects, concrete is the best option. Asphalt is known to produce polluting gases when it is melted.

Summary:

1. Concrete roads are more durable than sphalt roads.

2. Frequent repairs are not needed for concrete roads when compared to asphalt roads. Extreme weather conditions are liable to damage asphalt roads more than concrete roads.

3. Maintenance is easier with asphalt roads. Maintenance of a part of the asphalt road is possible.

4. Concrete roads are not damaged from oil leaks, like asphalt roads.

5. Concrete roads come with a higher paving cost than asphalt roads. Moreover, it takes less time to lay an asphalt road than a concrete road.

6. Asphalt roads have better skid resistance and provide good traction. Snow melts faster on asphalt roads than on concrete roads.

Update : The statement that concrete costs more than asphalt has become obsolete with the substantial increase in oil prices and reduction in asphaltic bitumen.  The significance of the latter item is substantial if you investigate: what were once waste products (used for asphaltic bitumen) are now refined to higher value products via the use of cokers. These cokers have consequently reduced the amount of bitumen available for use in asphalt pavements which, of course, has driven up asphalt prices greatly.  In fact, quick research would find that for the first time in history, concrete and asphalt pavements are either on par or often, concrete bids are coming in lower than asphalt.  Couple this new reality with the other key life-cycle facts you cite in your article and you have a more informative document that tells the story that we as tax payers deserve to know – that concrete pavements, dollar for dollar, are better value than asphalt pavements.  Thanks for considering and researching this important information further to the end of being more accurate in your information provided to the world. (Credit : Rob Wallace)


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4 Comments

  1. No mention of the fact that asphalt grooves quickly under heavy traffic load then becomes a waterway when it rains. The incidence of hydroplaning on wet roads is virtually non-existent on concrete. Give me concrete anytime. I also disagree with asphalt having a better friction coefficient for braking. I’d like to see a scientific study done on the subject.

    • You know what? I would like to see scientific studies on the idea that “hydroplaning on wet roads is virtually non-existent on concrete” and on the “friction coefficient for braking” for asphalt and concrete. i have my doubts that concrete is that superior.

  2. Regarding, the environnement, production of cement produces a lot of polluting gases also.

  3. I remind you that asphalt is recyclable. Almost 99% of asphalt can be recycled. Also there might be a possibility to replace the 1% that is thrown away with so called “bioasphalt” or concrete making the surface a composite.

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