Environmental Benefits of Asphalt Paving

Asphalt Paving Fort Lauderdale creates a smooth, safe road surface for drivers. It’s also more weather and season-friendly than concrete.

Asphalt Paving

Aggregates, like sand and gravel, are heated with bitumen to make the asphalt. The asphalt mixture is spread evenly over the pavement and compacted using heavy rollers. Smooth roads save on vehicle wear and tear and extend the life of a roadway.

Asphalt is a very cost-effective paving option. While other paving materials such as gravel, brick and cobblestone may be less expensive to install, they often require more maintenance due to their fragility. This makes asphalt the most affordable paving material in the long run.

It is also the most environmentally friendly material. Asphalt paving not only reduces road noise, prevents water and mud from getting into vehicles and helps to keep them from skidding, but it is also 100% recyclable. The asphalt industry continues to strive towards making the production of asphalt and its placement even more environmentally conscious.

When choosing a paving contractor, make sure that they are committed to recycling. Many of them have their own in-house recycling facilities to process their own paving materials, which eliminates the need for waste disposal and transporting new materials. In addition, they will likely offer other environmental solutions to you such as recycled materials, reclaimed aggregate and permeable pavers.

The creation of asphalt involves a number of steps, starting with predosing, where the aggregate components are weighed and combined based on an asphalt recipe. This mix is then heated in a pugmill to approximately 300°F. The mix is then sifted and stored in silos where it is kept hot until it is needed on the job site.

At the construction site, the mix is spread evenly across the area that requires paving using specialized equipment. The asphalt is then compacted using heavy rollers to improve density and strength. Proper compaction is vital for long-term performance and minimizing future pavement failures such as rutting and cracking.

During the paving process, recycled asphalt can be used as a base layer or an overlay. It can be combined with a new HMA/WMA mix in a mix plant, or scarified RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) can be mixed into the existing pavement to replace deteriorated material. In both cases, asphalt containing up to 30% RAP performs just as well as an all-virgin mix. For even more sustainability, asphalt can be reclaimed on-site by milling the old surface and utilizing pulverization to reuse the material without transporting it to a plant.


Asphalt pavement is a tough material that can stand up to heavy traffic and weather. It is also easier to maintain than concrete or other types of pavement. However, despite its durability, it is not impervious to damage. Over time, pavement can suffer from fatigue, which is a type of structural failure that leads to surface cracks. This is due to repeated cycles of stress/strain in the material. This is a common problem that affects all kinds of materials.

The durability of asphalt is also determined by the climate and how the material was built. For example, if the pavement was made in a dry, hot area, it may become brittle and crack quickly. This can lead to further problems, such as water leaking under the pavement and weakening it from underneath. Water damage can also cause the pavement to break apart at the bottom, resulting in costly repair and rehabilitation.

One way to improve the durability of asphalt is to use a higher density. This can be achieved by laying the asphalt in thinner layers. It is also important to properly compact the asphalt before it dries. In addition, the use of additives can also help improve the durability of asphalt.

Another important factor in the durability of asphalt is the temperature of the mix. High temperatures during mixing and compaction can make the mixture brittle and stiff, which can contribute to premature failures. Scientists are working on ways to lower the temperatures of asphalt mixes to improve their durability.

For example, some researchers are developing warm mix technologies that reduce the energy required to produce and place asphalt mixtures. These technologies use foaming water and/or additives such as organic waxes to keep the mixing, production, and placement temperatures low. These methods can decrease energy use by up to 40 percent.

This research has led to the development of a new test method for evaluating asphalt binder performance. The new testing method can give paving contractors better information about the performance of an asphalt mixture, including its ability to resist fatigue and rutting under different temperatures and loading frequencies. The new test method also allows agencies to set higher asphalt mixture density specifications.


Asphalt is one of the most recycled materials on earth and can be used in a wide variety of projects. Its durability and recyclability also make it an environmentally friendly option for road construction. In addition to its recyclability, asphalt pavement is also less expensive to maintain and repair than other types of roads. Its surface can also withstand harsh conditions and does not need to be treated with salt to melt ice, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Although asphalt is a good choice for the environment, it does have its drawbacks. Its production and application result in high levels of air pollution, but there are ways to reduce these emissions. The first step is to improve the sustainability of asphalt at each stage of its life cycle.

During the paving process, asphalt releases volatile organic compounds that can contribute to air pollutants. However, these can be reduced by using a special additive, called recycled oil base (REOB) – an unrefined waste product that is mixed with asphalt to create a durable material. REOB can be obtained from several sources, including used frying oils, residues from corn stover, and even treated swine manure.

The use of REOB will help to significantly lower the amount of energy needed for paving and reduce the need for raw materials. TFHRC is developing a new test method for determining the REOB content in asphalt. It is also conducting research into handheld spectroscopic devices that can detect REOB in a mix without having to take samples back to the lab.

Scientists are working to further decrease energy usage by improving cold mix technologies that work at ambient temperatures. These methods involve suspending binder globules in water along with emulsifying agents, which can lower the mixing and compaction temperatures by 10-40 degrees Celsius. Scientists are also exploring the use of additives like lignin from plants to increase a binder’s workability and adhesion.

The ability to recycle asphalt and the fact that it can be used in conjunction with reclaimed materials makes asphalt the greenest paving material available. The use of recycled asphalt can also earn credits under the materials and resources category for sustainable development projects. Moreover, the asphalt industry is continually looking for ways to improve its environmental impact.


The asphalt industry is constantly pursuing ways to improve the sustainability of road pavements. This is especially important because it reduces the need for costly repairs and replacements, and helps to conserve natural resources. It also lowers the carbon footprint by reducing emissions from vehicles and equipment.

The first step in improving the sustainability of asphalt pavements is to reduce the amount of energy used to produce them. This can be done by utilizing recycled materials in the mix and by using less fuel in the production process. The use of recycled materials can also help to minimize the need for landfills, which is good for the environment.

Another way to improve the sustainability of asphalt is to increase its lifespan by using proper maintenance and repair practices. This includes examining drainage conditions to ensure that the pavement can withstand heavy rainfalls and avoid ponding or rutting, which can significantly shorten its life. It is also important to consider the environmental impact of the location where the paving project is taking place. Areas of high ecological value, such as wetlands, should be avoided if possible.

In addition, it is crucial to choose the right mix for each project. The composition of the asphalt mixture can make a big difference in its long-term performance and environmental impact. For instance, low-energy binders can be used to achieve the same results as traditional asphalt, without requiring extra fuel for heating and transporting. The resulting asphalt is more resilient and durable, and can be made from local and renewable materials.

As the demand for asphalt continues to grow, it is critical to find ways to minimize its negative impact on the environment. To do so, companies should look into alternative binders and additives that reduce its dependence on bitumen. They should also promote the recycling and reuse of asphalt millings, as well as investigate methods for minimizing waste.

The EPA has identified asphalt plants as one of the most significant industrial sources of air pollution in the country, but improvements in technology have reduced their overall emissions and exposure to pollutants. The most common emissions are dust from the drying of aggregates and fumes from the combustion of fuel to heat the aggregates. These emissions have been reduced to the point where they are now only a minor source of pollution, but the EPA is still working to further reduce their effects.