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When a City Hires a Paving Company

By on February 24, 2019

Automobiles always need a smooth, paved road or parking lot to drive on, and the concept of a road has evolved since the early 1900s. When cars were newer, they were slow and much less common, and it was a typical sight to see horse-drawn carriages and even pedestrians freely sharing the road with primitive cars. This is far from the case today. Now, roads are tough, marked with paint and signs for ease of traffic, and they are certainly not shared with horses and pedestrians. Now, highways, city roads, parking lots, and more are made out of asphalt and concrete, and a paving company can be hired to build or maintain theses paces. A pavement company or an asphalt company can be hired to put down new roads, built a highway, or repair a damaged parking lot as needed. Smaller roads, such as the street in a neighborhood (excluding the driveways) can be built or repaired with a paving company as well. With so many cars and buses driving along American roads today, how can a paving company keep up? How big is this industry today?

Big Business and Paving

It is no secret that the United States is a nation of cars, and all those vehicles need somewhere to drive and park safely. This where a paving company comes in. As of 2017, for a recent example, the American paving industry employed some 284,626 people, and it supports some 195,603 jobs from coast to coast. In that same year, this industry earned some $36 billion, showing how large and vital this industry has become. It all started in 1909, when the first properly paved road was built in Detroit, Michigan. At the time, this road was merely one mile long, and it cost around $13,000 to build. It is easy to say that the concept has vastly expanded since then, and a modern paving company is part of something much more evolved. Many more roads were built since then, such as during the 1920s when cars become much more common, powerful, and popular. A lot of advertising for cars appeared in that decade, often with modern-style messages of how cars are great for a family taking a trip. And later in the 1950s, pavement got another boost with the Highway Act of 1954, which further expanded the network of American highways.

The Road

It is not enough to merely apply some pavement or asphalt and declare it a job well done. Cars may have their speed and fuel efficiency boosted or harmed by the road’s quality and design, so modern roads are designed with a car’s pressurized rubber tires in mind. A study conducted recently in Sweden found that vehicles which drive on smooth roads use 10% less fuel than those that are driving on rough roads. It may be no surprise, then, to hear that the Road Information Program estimated that bad roads slow down cars. This Program estimated that cars that drive on roads in poor condition cost their owners about $400 per month. Roads in bad shape may attract a lot of complaints, especially if this road damage is harming the cars such as damaging axles or wearing out suspension systems.

For these reasons and more, a pavement company may be tasked not only with putting down a road of an asphalt parking lot in the first place, but also maintaining it. For example, potholes are ugly holes in the road that can badly damage cars when driven over at high speed, so they should be filled in and smoothed over right away. Cracks and faults in the road should also be patched up, and if a road is very worn out, it can be replaced entirely. This may be more convenient and efficient than trying to fix all of the faults in a very old road, so the old road is torn up entirely. Then, pavement crews will apply fresh new concrete and asphalt and allow it to dry before cars start driving on it.

New or refreshed roads can also have crews paint on them. Yellow, white, and blue paint can mark lanes and divide different-direction traffic, and also paint arrows or pedestrian crosswalks. Such detailed messages are always important for drivers.

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