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Do we really not have anything better than bitumen to make roads?

Yeah bitumen is great to drive on but it wears out very quickly.

I live on a very busy main road and the road gangs are always out there at night just about every week resurfacing the road that thousands of cars, trucks and buses tear up every day.

Even the road surfaces that are 'good' are all warped and corrugated and bumpy and full of small potholes.

If we can put a man on the moon why cant we find something more durable than bitumen to drive on?

Is it a cost thing, do we use it because its cheap? Surely the cost of employing so many road workers and paying them whatever penalty rates for working at midnight would have to be taken into account?

5 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes.

    Reinforced concrete is used for its superior longevity in comparison to asphalt. However....

    Concrete is much more expensive, so it’s only used for very high use surfaces.

    It has a lower coefficient of friction than asphalt, so it must be grooved and those grooves must be reapplied every so often.

    Concrete cracks much easier, requiring expensive expansion joints.

    Concrete cannot be recycled as easily in situ as asphalt which can be done with a diamond grinder and a paver in a matter of minutes.

    And finally... when the concrete does crack and break and wear out, its asphalt put on by road crews that repairs it anyways.

    • ugiidriver
      Lv 7
      10 months agoReport

      Concrete is recycled, it goes into a kiln and turns back into powder form, then it can be reused just by adding back water or the sand and aggregate can be sifted out out.

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Well, the Romans used flat stones and gravel. Some of those ancient roads still exist, they were that well-built and durable, but believe me, they are hard on wagon wheels and tires.

    You need something to smooth over them, and I assure you, it doesn't matter what it is, it's going to wear off and need to be replaced regularly.

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  • 11 months ago

    Ever hear of concrete?

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    11 months ago

    Bitomen is cheap is why they use it and it's usually not all that's used when building a road. It's usually only used to patch and smooth it out in it's more solid form. The tar form is used to seal roads. Standard practice in building a new road is like the above anonymous answer shared, reinforced concrete mixed with stone (not asphalt...bitomen is asphalt).

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    The way to make permanent roads is a reinforced concrete base with asphalt over it.

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