It might come as no surprise that over 350 million tons asphalt pavement is produced every year. And that is just in the United States. Asphalt mixtures pave our roads, streets, parking lots, walking trails, airports, and so much more. What is suprising is that there are only roughly 3,500 asphalt mix production sites in the US. More-often these production sites are small, family-owned businesses.
In addition to being the #1 most recycled product in the world, asphalt is a product that doesn’t get as much credit as it should. In a recent blog from Asphalt Pavement, we learn a few fun and interesting facts about that amazing compound, asphalt:
- There are more than 4.1 million miles of public roads in the U.S. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 1.3 million miles are unpaved. Nearly 1.9 million miles are paved local roads for which FHWA does not track pavement type. Of the remaining 955,000 miles of paved roads, about 810,000 miles are asphalt, 56,000 miles are concrete.1 The remaining 89,000 miles are composite pavements; most composite pavements are older concrete pavements that have been resurfaced with asphalt for maintenance reasons, to extend their life or to address safety and noise issues.
- There is approximately 18 billion tons of asphalt pavement in American roads, all of which could be mined as part of regular maintenance and repair activities for reuse in future asphalt pavements. Currently, the asphalt pavement industry reclaims more than 99 percent of asphalt pavement removed from projects for reuse in future projects.2