Scientists and industry experts are always looking for better, more economical and sustainable pavement alternatives. The technology seems to be improving every day. One of the major concerns today is laying down green roads that are environmentally friendly during the manufacturing as well as the construction process.
Perpetual pavement is one such eco-friendly pavement solution. It’s not exactly a new concept. In fact, the concept has been around since the 1960s. It’s a great alternative to traditional pavements.
What is Perpetual Pavement?
This is essentially the name given to a really long lasting pavement. These roads are designed to last over 50 years, requiring only resurfacing every 10 to 12 years. The design is multilayered, which increases its strength and durability. The surface has all the advantages of asphalt and is very resilient.
How Does it Work?
Perpetual pavement consists of several layers of asphalt. The surface is smooth, durable, and can be easily repaired. The layer at the bottom of the pavement is strong, yet flexible. This layer is essential as it resists the strain that traffic can cause. This prevents the formation of cracks at the bottom on the pavement.
Over this layer, another strong layer of asphalt is added, with a different aggregate composition. This is the permanent road. Over this permanent layer, a final layer of smooth and thin asphalt is added. This asphalt can be repaired regularly and replaced if needed.
The different layers ensure that the surface layer can be removed if it’s damaged too severely. That layer is milled off and recycled. The milled-off surface will receive a new, thin layer of asphalt. This resurfacing is only performed once in 10 years or whenever necessary. Minor repairs can be conducted without mulling off the entire asphalt surface.
These roads can be repaired in very little time. The milling and resurfacing process can happen within a day during the hours without heavy traffic. The system is highly developed and doesn’t cause much disruption. This saves time, money, and stress as the repair work is done before people start to miss access to the road.
The Advantage of Asphalt Perpetual Roads
The biggest advantage of asphalt is that it’s very easy to repair, as stated above. It’s also 100% recyclable. However, the most important factor is its drivability. Asphalt has a very smooth surface and delivers a high performance. That coupled with reduced repair time can increase the safety of the roads and reduce traffic congestion.
Asphalt roads save millions of dollars every day in time and money. There’s no curing time and the roads can be repaired during the night.