The Role of Asphalt in the Transportation System

Asphalt is a crucial component of our national transportation system. According to the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, the U.S. has 2.2 million miles of paved roads – 93 percent of which are surfaced with asphalt. Durable and cost effective, this material is one of the building blocks of safer and reliable roadways that keep America moving. Its benefits include the following:

Asphalt provides support for the economy.

Many factors play a role in determining where businesses set up shop, one being the quality of roadways and infrastructure present in the area. More than 62.9 million full-time jobs in industries such as tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the nation’s transportation network. In addition, roadways are paved by members of the very communities in which they surface. In the U.S., transportation infrastructure supports more than 4 million full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. Essentially, the pursuit of better roads leads to more jobs and businesses serving communities.

Asphalt is dynamic and sustainable.

As one of the most recycled products in America’s transportation system, more than 100 million tons of asphalt is reclaimed every year. Of that total, 95 percent is reutilized or recycled. This, in turn, saves taxpayers more than $2 billion dollars annually. In addition, porous asphalt plays a key role in environmental preservation in the way of stormwater management. By reducing runoff and conserving water, this tool replenishes aquifers and protects streams.

Asphalt is the most cost-effective choice for the transportation system.

Did you know that asphalt is often referred to as a “perpetual pavement?” This means that asphalt roadways are smooth and long lasting, without requiring expensive and time-consuming major repairs in the future. With pavement structures that are able to last indefinitely, their value follows suit. Routine maintenance becomes a simple matter of periodically milling every 15 to 20 years.

Our family of companies respects the critical role asphalt plays in our nation’s transportation system. In order to better serve our operations, Lehman-Roberts owns and operates eight lab-testing facilities – one at each of our asphalt plant sites, in addition to another at our central Memphis hub. These facilities are equipped with a full range of capabilities to assess deformation, cracking, and asphalt gradations, ensuring we meet premium standards in every project.

With so many perks to offer, it’s easy to see why asphalt is chosen time and time again to garner high-quality results in residential projects, commercial runways, Interstate highways and more. The transportation system is the backbone of our economy, allowing motorists to travel more than 3.2 trillion miles annually. In addition, it supports the movement of a significant portion of the $16.8 trillion worth of commodities shipped within the U.S. each year. However, conditions of the transportation system are deteriorating, with the need for improvements far outpacing the amount of federal funding available.

As the reauthorization date of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act quickly approaches on September 30, 2020, we urge lawmakers to continue investments in supporting and maintaining our nation’s multifaceted transportation infrastructure. Learn more about the FAST Act here.
Role of Asphalt