Pavement Management: Why Prevention Is Better Than The Cure

Where would we be without our road network? It is probably the most important piece of infrastructure in the USA and absolutely essential to keeping the flow of goods and people around the country.

Did you know that there are around four million miles of road in the country and that asphalted roads make up a whopping 93% of these?

But, from information coming from the National Economic Council and President’s Council of Economic Advisers, given in 2014, the finance for this vital system is falling short of the needs of a modern economy.

It says that there is simply not enough funding available to maintain the existing structure, let alone plan for future of extending the network further.

Also, it has concluded that in the previous two decades, the levels of investment from all sources – state, federal and local – has reduced as a proportion of the national GDP.

To put it another way, we are not keeping up with our requirements for a first class, well maintained road network.

All agencies and individuals charged with the task of attempting to oversee the management of the country’s roads face an unprecedented challenge of trying to more, with less.

So one thing that agencies can do to help make their money go further is to take action now to prevent their asphalt road structure from decaying anymore than is necessary.

In short, it is better to spend a little extra money now, preserving their pavement, than it is to have to pay out for more repairs further down the road; literally, in this case!

It has been estimated by the FHWA (Federal Highway Association) that for every dollar that is spent on preserving a pavement can prolong or even remove the need to spend an additional $6-$10 on its repair later on in the future.

The good news is that if your road surfacing is asphalt, then there is a wide choice on offer of prevention treatments to choose between and these can be applied swiftly and economically.

The treatments range between applications such as crack sealing, fog seals, scrub seals, slurry seals, sandwich seals, micro surfacing and cape seals.

To choose the right treatment for your pavement, you first need to know what type of problem it is suffering from. If you do not know, an experienced paving contractor can assist you.

Also, these days, the deterioration can be predicted in advance by a professional taking into account the paving age, type and traffic levels it experiences.

For more information, ask your local paving contractor or asphalt professional.