Roadway safety is a growing concern in the United States. In 2019 alone, there were 36,096 traffic fatalities, an increase of 5.3% from the year before, according to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).1 Every year, thousands of Americans are injured or killed in preventable accidents, many of them due to distracted driving. Fortunately, the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), includes several provisions that can make America’s roads safer.
Asphalt paving is a complex process that requires in-depth planning, precision, and specialized expertise. When it comes to paving with asphalt, everyone always looks forward to the end result – i.e., long-lasting and functional pavement. Beyond the numerous techniques and skillset required to completing asphalt paving projects, if you don’t have a solid foundation for your final product, your work will deteriorate quickly.
However, when important steps are neglected, roads can be in a vulnerable condition, susceptible to quicker deterioration such as premature cracking and the all too familiar and frustrating potholes. A recent article published by The Asphalt Magazine introduces five key points which, when followed, can lead to stronger, durable, longer lasting asphalt pavements.
Achieving the highest level of asphalt pavement performance is often the top goal for both clients and contractors alike. In his article, “The five keys to paving success,” Dave Johnson, P.E., emphasizes the importance of considering these factors to never overlook when building high-quality pavements and avoiding poorer-than-optimal performance.
As an engineer and asphalt paving contractor, Johnson has seen his share of bad asphalt surface streets over the years – those with inadequate design and construction factors that lead to poor performance. In his years of experience specializing in asphalt pavements, he has witnessed countless asphalt paving projects – some that have lasted for decades and others that have failed within the first few years. While there is no one formula to ensure the development of a high-quality, long-lasting asphalt pavement, the five keys to doing so, according to Johnson, are these:
Asphalt mix design, mix temperature, placement thickness, aggregate angularity and compaction are crucial to consider when producing a quality pavement. Each of these five keys is important in its own right, but they all work together to create a strong foundation. Asphalt pavement is renowned for its durability, longevity, and cost-effectiveness, but proper construction is critical to achieving these characteristics.
After all, asphalt is the most heavily used construction material in America. “All too often, contractors compromise some or all of these factors in the name of saving time and money,” Johnson explains. “They later discover that short-term savings were far outweighed by the longer-term costs associated with poor performance.” While all five aspects of a top-notch pavement are equally important and work together to create a high-quality product, paving is rarely an exact science.
Conditions such as climate, temperature, traffic, etc. can vary greatly from one work site to the next. These procedures cannot be ignored if you want to ensure longevity and stability in your asphalt pavement, preventing you from having to make costly repairs sooner than later.
The asphalt pavement industry also presents challenges because there are often frequent changes to specifications. By taking the time to ensure each of these five keys is up to par in your project, you can avoid costly mistakes and deliver a high-quality, long-lasting asphalt pavement. While paving is not an exact science, there’s still much that can go wrong if you don’t take the time necessary with each key component from start through completion.
It is an overall complex and sensitive process – one that should not be taken lightly. Neglecting even one of them results in a subpar final product. Be sure to keep these five keys in mind on your next asphalt paving project! Your clients, community, and bank account will thank you in the long run.
For more detailed information on each key and how to achieve success, read more about Johnson’s insights on building better asphalt surfaces here. >>>
At The Heritage Group, we have been developing environmentally sustainable solutions for more than 50 years. We started Heritage Environmental Services with a Subtitle C landfill in 1970, the same year the EPA was created. Today, Heritage Environmental Services is a leader in environmental sustainability and a one-stop waste management solution spread across North America.
Sustainability is important all across The Heritage Group. Our businesses are focused on leaving the world a better place for future generations.
At Asphalt Materials (AMI), we work closely with The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). NAPA works to support, advocate, and advance the asphalt pavement industry. One of NAPA’s focus areas for 2022 is climate stewardship and how asphalt is environmentally friendly as it is America’s most recycled material. Our industry continuously explores methods and practices to contribute to a sustainable infrastructure and a healthy environment for generations to come.
As part of NAPA’s Climate Stewardship Task Force, they will be helping explain terminology that is expected to become commonplace in 2022. Look for more updates in the coming weeks. Here are a few listed below.
Carbon footprint is an estimate of how much carbon dioxide is produced to support your lifestyle. Essentially, it measures your impact on the climate based on how much carbon dioxide you produce. Factors that contribute to your carbon footprint include your travel methods and general home energy usage. Carbon footprints can also be applied, on a larger scale, to companies, businesses, even countries. (Source: NAPA Action News. Defining The Road Forward. https://www.naylornetwork.com/nap-nwl/articles/index-v7.asp?aid=707737&issueID=88351)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration, what people exhale when they breathe. It is naturally present in air (about 0.03%) and is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is one carbon atom that is joined with two oxygen atoms.
Carbon Dioxide is Naturally Occurring
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas. When you inhale (breathe in), air enters your lungs and oxygen from the air moves from your lungs to your blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide, a waste gas, moves from your blood to the lungs and is exhaled (breathe out).
Heritage Construction & Materials
Our Heritage Construction & Materials (HC+M) family of companies have built roads, bridges, and other commercial projects across the Midwest and as far away as China. Our asphalt and aggregate supply companies produce and distribute the highest quality road construction materials and specialty minerals throughout the country.
HC+M companies are industry-leading innovators, due in large part to the problem-solving nature of our employees, our close collaboration with the Heritage Research Group , and our mutual commitment to listen to the needs of our customers.
As part of The Heritage Group, Asphalt Materials was founded in 1956 and we continue to supply high quality products and services around the United States, allowing us to excel in pavement preservation techniques and construction services.
We work closely with the Heritage Research Group team to ensure the highest quality asphalt materials and processes are brought to market. We are committed to building long term relationships and mutual trust. We are excited to tackle our industries biggest challenges, looking for new and inventive ways to create solutions that will mean better, safer and longer lasting roads.
To learn more about HC+M, visit this website: https://thgrp.com/transportation-infrastructure-materials/
After reading through the recent news about the IIJA, it is evident there are many items to read and evaluate from the roughly 2,700-page infrastructure bill.
Asphalt is the pavement of choice for sustainability.
Asphalt is 100 percent reusable and recycled at a higher rate than any other material in America — including soda cans and newspapers. In fact, 94 percent of asphalt reclaimed from old roads and parking lots goes back into new pavements. (1)