Why dont we use concrete instead? Concrete has evolved in the use of highways and roadways to be superior in terms of resistance to wear and tear as compared to asphalt. It is "greener" to use. My fear is that we use asphalt to secure construction jobs as it has to be continually maintained, especially in cold weather climates where pot holes are born after constant cold retraction, heat expansion and salt during winter weather. From what I can tell… Concrete is made from Portland cement and gravel. Portland cement is made by reducing limestone- by crushing it, then heating it with natural gas. The reason concrete costs more than asphalt is because it is, actually, very energy intensive to manufacture; must be used when mixed; and is more labor intensive to lay. Asphalt is used because it is smooth and quiet, and cheap. The machines to lay it can deposit, compact, and smooth the asphalt in a continuous operation, greatly reducing road closure time for resurfacing. Concrete gets very rough and noisy after it has been there for a while, especially on highways, as the cement is worn away and the aggregate is exposed. It's vulnerable to cracks and potholes too. As for the 'almighty dollar-' it's tax money used to pay for it. Usually the least expensive material is less harmful, in total, to the environment, having consumed the least resources and labor.
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