Unless you are directly involved with an industry of any type, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with advancements made in that field. In fact, it might even seem like there are no advancements being made. Commercial paving is one industry that the great majority of the public has no, or very little interest in. Just like any other scientific or medical field, there isn’t much news until there is a revolutionary breakthrough or a miracle cure.
Commercial paving materials have come a long way since the early days of paved surfaces. Luckily, our roads are no longer made of dirt, felled trees, or cobblestones. In the case of cobblestones, they are still used, but not for major roadways but rather for visual aesthetics.
In today’s world, commercial paving contractors use materials that weren’t discovered back then, nor do they use materials that are nearly impossible to produce in the quantities that are needed. The advancements in asphalt production allows an asphalt surface to be structurally sound and durable yet have the ability to let water flow through it. That is actually quite amazing. A lot of that is due to specifically designed sub-layers that allow the water to flow away from the surface properly, but the surface asphalt itself has been engineered to have the properties that allow the surface to actually be porous. Decades ago, no one could have imagined that this would ever happen.
Additionally, environmentally conscious commercial paving contractors have made incredible advancements in recycled asphalt materials. Our planet has limited resources and the more that we can reuse, the better off we all are. Is there another material out there that can or will replace asphalt? That’s hard to say considering that we’re still running strong with what has worked so well for so long.
Maybe, someday, there won’t be commercial paving contractors in the sense that we won’t be paving with asphalt. Glass solar panels are being developed, as we speak, that could possibly replace asphalt in the future. Is that the future of our roadways…Smart Roads? Maybe, but for now, commercial paving has made huge advancements and will continue to do so going into the future.