Today, Americans travel extensively upon the 2.6 million miles of paved roads and highways across our country. Commercial paving provides safe, smooth surfaces for drivers to navigate. Further, they are not only easy for skilled contractors to construct, asphalt roadways are also relatively easy to maintain, lending to the popularity of this material. Although most Americans certainly would not view it this way, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, “Asphalt is America’s most recycled material.”
The overwhelming public interest in environmentally conscious and sustainable solutions for materials we use each day has led engineers to begin working on material that provides additional protection for the environment. This has led to green solutions that are as sturdy as their traditional counterparts, yet provides benefits unheard of by previous commercial paving solutions. Here, we’ll discuss some of the benefits associated with the use of green paving solutions.
First, because traditional asphalt or concrete is a non-porous material, water does not seep into these materials; instead, water runs off the roadways and into the nearby landscape. Of course, it doesn’t simply stay there; it travels eventually to local streams and rivers, taking with it oil deposits, gasoline and other hazardous liquids. Beyond the possibility of erosion to the landscape, those chemicals are particularly treacherous to the local water supply. Green paving solutions are permeable, which reduces the likelihood of erosion and contamination challenges associated with typical runoff.
Next, after the especially treacherous weather last winter, there were many who discovered that extreme temperatures severely affect the roadways, creating a greater likelihood of the formation of potholes.
Municipalities across the country were truly plagued with potholes all along their roadways, following the freeze and thawing patterns that happened when inclement weather set in. Those freeze/thaw patterns create weak spots within the asphalt, and as vehicles travel over those weak spots, potholes form. The more permeable commercial paving solutions do not tend to freeze as quickly, largely because rainwater does not tend to “pool” on the surface. Thus, the likelihood of potholes, which can cause serious damage to vehicles, is reduced.
Finally, some commercial establishments have a need for alternative solutions, such as gravel or grass paving solutions. These green paving solutions, made from recycled materials, can handle the weight of even heavier commercial vehicles (even when they are fully loaded).
In conclusion, green paving solutions are durable, environmentally-friendly and, in many cases, less expensive solutions–an all-around win.