When most people think of commercial paving, asphalt parking lots and concrete foundations and slabs probably come to mind. Is that extraordinary? Not really, blacktop parking lots are beyond common these days. So what about commercial paving could be considered extraordinary and not “seen it every day humdrum?”
How about at the Olympics? The Summer Olympics are currently underway in Rio and there are some extraordinary commercial paving products that are used there in addition to the many large parking lots. The running tracks of today are light years beyond the dirt that they started out as way back when. Even compared to straight asphalt or concrete tracks that were made prior to the 1950s, these new tracks are still more advanced. You might be wondering how a simple running track can be extraordinary. The fact that they are synthetic these days, made from a mix of asphalt and rubber make them so.
If you’ve never experienced this particular commercial paving technology on a professional track, perhaps you have encountered something similar at the playground that you take your kids to. That slightly bouncy and rubbery stuff that you find at newer playgrounds isn’t exactly the same, but it is similar. It’s great for traction and breaking a fall, but it isn’t awesome when bare skin and sliding happens. Mainly because sliding doesn’t happen, just wicked road rash. That however doesn’t lessen this impressive commercial paving product in the least.
What about one of the newest advancements, porous asphalt? A seemingly solid surface that actually allows water to flow through it. That’s pretty cool. Not sure if it will ever be used for running track purposes due to the extensive sub-layers that need to be built that can extend several feet below the surface, but you never know.
The point being, commercial paving contractors do some pretty extraordinary work, even if most people don’t realize it.