At Johnson and Sons Paving, we know asphalt. We’ve been in business for 10 years and we’ve laid thousands upon thousands of miles at this point. We even have our own asphalt plant where we’ve developed a proprietary asphalt mix to ensure each of our pavements, parking lots, driveways, and drive-throughs are durable and reliable. And in all this experience, we’ve learned a few fun (and surprising) facts that we wanted to share with you!
Fact 1: Asphalt was first used for roads as early as 625 BC
But it was used far earlier as a waterproofing and adhesive agent! While asphalt can be synthesized, it also occurs naturally. Known as bitumen, these early forms of asphalt were used as far back as the fifth millennium BC (that’s 5000 BC!), first found with a crop storage basket discovered in Mehrgarh, of the Indus Valley in South Asia. Bitumen was used to line the basket to protect harvested crops through the seasons.
Fact 2: There are over 2.25 million miles of paved roads in the US, over 90% of which, are paved with asphalt.
That’s enough distance to get you to the moon and back almost four and a half times! In fact, with 2.25 million miles of pavement, you could circle the Earth, at the equator, 90 times.
Fact 3: Asphalt pavements are America’s most recycled product.
That’s right – asphalt outranks paper, plastic, and cardboard for America’s most recycled product! According to data from the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the asphalt industry has a 99% recycle rate for asphalt pavements, saving American tax payers over $300 million each year.
Fact 4: Asphalt occurs naturally and there’s an asphalt lake in the middle of Los Angeles
And you’ve probably heard of it! The La Brea Tar Pits, found at 5801 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California are a large deposit of bitumen (or tar) that has seeped up through the Earth’s crust and formed a lake. La Brea, while not famed for its connection to asphalt, is recognized as one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, where more than 100 excavations have been made!
Fact 5: Asphalt reduces noise pollution
Highways can be a major source of noise pollution. “This noise is caused by the car tires trapping air between them and the road surface,” said Wayne Jones, Asphalt Institute Senior Regional Engineer. “It’s similar to noise that occurs when you clap your hands together and air becomes trapped between your palms. The air is forced out quickly under pressure, generating sound waves as it exits.” It is possible to reduce the volume of clapping by spreading one’s fingers and clapping your open fingers together, thus providing the escaping air with sufficient exit pathways to avoid becoming trapped. (Asphalt Magazine) This is exactly how quiet asphalt pavements work and they can reduce noise by as must as 7 decibels!
Bonus Fact: Johnson and Sons Paving has its own asphalt!
At Johnson and Sons Paving we own and manage our own stone crushing plant, asphalt plant, and a complete fleet of paving equipment and vehicles run by a team of paving experts which ensures quality and durability at each point during the paving process. From base materials to the asphalt mix to installation, we have you covered! Call today for a free, no-obligation quote on your residential or commercial paving project!