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August 11th, 2006

Concrete vs Asphalt

Driving into work this morning, I saw a concrete truck with the slogan “Concrete roads save gas” on the large mixing barrel. I thought to myself, “Huh. Do they?”

According to the Cement Association of Canada, 30% of interstate US highways are made of concrete instead of asphalt. They also note that cement costs less in the long run and that since cement causes “less deflection” than asphalt, there can be a fuel efficiency increase of up to 11%. In addition, concrete tends to hold up well under extreme weather conditions. Of course, this isn’t exactly coming from a neutral third party source. The Asphalt Institute might have some different ideas.

Perhaps the most intriguing benefit of concrete is that it can save your life. When it’s wet, at least.

Posted in Cars

FROM: Monica
DATE: Friday August 11, 2006 -- 12:04:22 pm
I may be remembering part of this incorrectly, but I think making concrete roads puts out a lot of CO2. Still the durability in colder climates means fewer trips by gas-hungry machinery and stop-and-go traffic that comes while repairs are being done!

FROM: Steve A
DATE: Friday August 11, 2006 -- 7:00:32 pm
Living in an area where concrete and asphalt are both on the interstate, I can tell you this:
1. Concrete's a better ride.
2. Concrete absolute SUCKS when it's wet:
a. It reflects light way too much and glares,
b. It's slicker'n'snot when wet.

I'll take Asphalt and Safety for $500, Alex.


FROM: to monica
DATE: Friday August 11, 2006 -- 7:28:14 pm
concrete, durable? ha! you must not have been to ohio. there are only 2 seasons, winter and construction.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Friday August 11, 2006 -- 9:24:34 pm
actually I live in Wisconsin, and they say the same thing. They use a lot more concrete here than in warmer places because it's supposed to hold up better.

Hmm, maybe we need a "Modern Marvels" show on road surfaces!

Fyordor Volga April 19, 2007, 9:33 pm

If large vehicle ride over asphalt ruts develop which make it hard to control a car, especially in the rain.

What is this then?

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