The Benefits of Concrete Pavements
Concrete pavements have been a mainstay of America’s infrastructure for more than 50 years. The country’s ﬁrst concrete street, built in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1891, is still in service today. Moreover, these long-lasting pavements are not conﬁned to one region of North America, nor to a speciﬁc type of environment or climate. Concrete can handle the freezing winters of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the scorching heat of the Southwest. A variety of cement-based products can be used in pavement applications to meet every pavement need or challenge. By simply varying the proportions of the three basic ingredients (portland cement, soils/aggregates, and water), along with how they are mixed and placed, contractors can develop pavement materials that are plastic and malleable when newly mixed, yet strong and durable when hardened. While ready mixed concrete (RMC) forms the basis of conventional portland cement concrete pavements, there are other cement-based products that defy the label of “concrete,” yet share many of its qualities. Regardless of the type of roadway or current pavement conditions, there is a concrete solution.
It can be used for new pavements, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration or rehabilitation. Concrete pavements generally provide the longest life, least maintenance, and lowest life-cycle cost of all alternatives.
- Long life – Concrete pavements have an average service life of 30 to 50 years.
- Low maintenance requirements and costs – No need for repeated resurfacing, frequent spot repairs or patching.
- Smoother trafﬁc ﬂow – The construction of concrete pavements does not require lengthy lane closures.
- Quick reopening – Roads can be reopened in as short as six hours.
- Low life-cycle cost – Consumes minimal materials, energy, and other resources for construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation activities throughout its service life.
- Safety – Less susceptible to the formation of heavy-vehicle wheel ruts; easier to see at night; ensures shorter vehicle stopping distances in wet weather; due to longevity, there are fewer work zones over the life of the pavement.