Asphalt is the most cost-effective pavement type
Today’s current national and local economic conditions – combining reduced funding with high infrastructure needs – have elevated the importance of prudent spending. Decision makers exercising good stewardship practices can easily justify their decisions and choices to their constituents. Good stewardship practices include a detailed, logical and documented pavement type selection process that includes a life-cycle cost analysis as a key component.
Pavement type selection, or PTS, is the process that identifies the best pavement structure for a given application. Road agencies such as state DOTs and city/county public works departments use PTS processes, which may be as simple as specifying a certain type of pavement on the basis of traffic level, or as complicated as assigning weighting factors to more than a dozen characteristics and evaluating the outcome through a scoring system.
The APA’s white paper on pavement type selection provides guidelines that agencies and others will find valuable.
The APA has developed life-cycle cost analysis software that uses the principles recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to compare the economics of alternative designs for a given road project. It’s easy to use, unbiased, and free. There are two versions: LCCA Original, a comprehensive program, and LCCAExpress, geared toward less-complex projects. Both are available as free downloads.
Asphalt not only has lower initial costs, it’s more cost-effective in the long run. Asphalt can be built quickly and because it’s durable, safe, easy to maintain and 100% recyclable. On every level asphalt is more cost-effective than any other material for the entire life cycle of the pavement.