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Asphalt Shmasphalt (1 Viewer)

BrettB

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Feb 1, 2001
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Why do cities/states use asphalt? Are politicians/officials lining their pockets with kick-backs from asphalt industry types? If so, where are the damned corrupt concrete industry types when we need them? Can't they pony up some money for kick-backs and put an end to this crap?

The lower initial cost argument doesn't cut it. They just tore up a street near my work to install storm drainage and they've put down the new asphalt paving. I guarantee you within 12 months they'll be fixing potholes. It'll get worse and worse over the next few years. In about 6-8 years from now when the road is an obstacle course of shock-busting craters, a half-assed asphalt abomination of uneven hills and valleys, they'll come back and totally re-do the street with this inferior material and the entire process starts over. Tonight when I drive home one of the streets I'll drive over is a nice, smooth, pothole-free stretch of concrete that was laid over 50 years ago.
 

Brian Perry

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May 6, 1999
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I agree. Here in Chicagoland the Edens expressway was built in the 70's using 18" concrete and it is still in awesome shape, especially considering all the freeze/thaw cycles it has been through.
It reminds me of the scene in Falling Down when the construction worker admitted that there wasn't anything wrong with the road they were tearing up, but they wouldn't get the same funding without a list of "necessary" projects.
 

KyleS

Screenwriter
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Jul 24, 2000
Messages
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Concrete does last a lot longer but the time the road is out of use is about 4 times longer. Asphalt, although softer, takes very little time to become dry enough to drive on. Asphalt takes a lot longer and is more expensive. For high traffic roads there is no comparison they should use concrete. Funny thing is MOST large cities use very little concrete because of the down time. Imagine having to close a main street for 4 weeks while the concrete dries and all the construction is done vs 1-2 days for asphalt (total chaos)

KyleS
 

Danny R

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 23, 2000
Messages
871
Its not the material that matters, but how often they come around to repair it. Sure asphalt doesn't last as long as concrete, but its faster to repair and lay down: One machine comes up and chops up the old road, and another lays it down. By the end of the day you have a working road again.

With concrete you have to break the road apart, reset the rebar, then pour and wait for it to cure. A task that takes MUCH longer.

Give me properly maintained asphalt anyday.
 

Leila Dougan

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
1,352
Give me properly maintained asphalt anyday.
Key word: properly maintained (ok that was two words)
The problem is that in my area they don't maintain the roads. I honestly don't care what I drive on as long as there are no potholes, huge cracks, and the like.
 

Nathan*W

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 9, 2001
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Real Name
Nathan
close a main street for 4 weeks while the concrete dries
Uh, concrete dries in 24 hours.
Hard enough to drive on.
It does however take 30 days for it to reach its maximum tensile strength. As far as drying enough to drive on though, 24 hours.
You've probably already guessed the reason municipalities hardly ever use concrete as opposed to asphalt:
MONEY
It costs about twice as much to pave concrete as it does asphalt, and cities/counties are all about giving jobs to the lowest bidder. There ya go. City/state governments are usually short-sighted about the long term costs of any project.
 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
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Jan 18, 1999
Messages
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One other reason: in cities at least, they're constantly digging up the streets to fix water/gas/sewer/whatever else they keep under there. Streets get patched up more often for this reason than for cracks/potholes. Never mind that the concrete will last many years, you know they'll be digging it up in six months anyway...

KJP
 

Bjorn Olav Nyberg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 12, 1999
Messages
945
Wow, I never knew they used concrete for roads? Well, except for in tunnels or bridges, I can't think of a single time I've seen concrete used in my part of the world...
 

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
773
In my neck of the woods, we wait 3 days before allowing vehicles to drive on concrete. It could be 1 day if you use high early strength concrete (Type III) but we pretty much use all Type I. About the only places it's been used here are on patterned, decorative crosswalks and due to the traffic control nightmares of shutting down an intersection for 3 days, it's not being used anymore.

Also, as previously mentioned, the installation costs are much higher and the presence of underground utilities may preclude the use of PCC roads. If you have to dig the road up for repairs every couple of years, replacement costs will soak a cities coffers dry very quickly. For Interstate highways with no UG utilities, PCC highways are great.
 

Ryan Wright

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
1,875
When I was driving through Idaho one weekend to visit family I saw them repaving the highway with concrete. There were four employees total - three driving machines and one flagging. These machines cut a swath of concrete a few feet wide, so there were three of them to do one lane. One was on the inside of the lane, the next one about 50 feet behind the first one, in the center of the lane, and the last one another 50 or so feet behind the center one on the outside of the lane.

Each machine did the following:

1. Chopped up the old concrete into tiny gravel-like pieces.

2. Spit them through a large steel tube out onto the side of the road.

3. Laid down new concrete and smoothed it out right behind itself.

The end result? A perfect concrete freeway, with a nice looking gravel-like shoulder and only four employees to build it. They covered tens of miles in a single day. The next morning, we drove on their fresh concrete with no problems.

Personally, I don't know why all roads aren't done this way. They tore up an intersection in my city a couple of years ago and took a MONTH to lay down a mixture of concrete and asphalt. A stinkin' month!! They could have just closed the stupid intersection for 24 hours and had the whole thing done with these machines.
 

Jay H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 22, 1999
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Pittsfield, MA
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Jay
I believe there are some concrete sections in NW NJ and also parts of Rt 17 in NY from The Thruway to Binghamton used to be concrete up til a few years ago. One thing about concrete though is the joints, every 15 feet or so.. ba-DUMP..ba-DUMP..ba-DUMP... Don't know about you but it does get a bit repetitive at times.

Jay
 

MikeAlletto

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2000
Messages
2,369
They've been digging up an outside lane on a road I take to work for the longest time now. It start just digging a trench in front of an entrance way. Then it moved further down. They never installed sewers or anything. They would just dig a trench then fill it back in. They didn't even bother to repave it. They just filled in the trench and opened the lane. Of course the holes and bumps were horrible so noone drove on it anyways. Now they have the entire lane blocked off for 2 or so blocks and are digging again. This time there are huge sewer lines laying on the side of the road, but they continue to just dig and dig and fill. I'm very curious as to what they are doing besides making a huge mess and blocking up traffic. Only thing I can think of is that its advance sewer and conduit work for a future major project. But there are already shops and homes in that area so who knows whats going there.
 

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