Streets, Parking Lots and Local Roads
Concrete streets and parking lots are not only beneficial to the environment, they also provide many other benefits to the owner, the community and the customers that they carry.
What is True Pavement Value?
The true value of any pavement must be determined by all of the following factors; Annual Cost, Safety, Performance, Appearance and Effect on the environment.
Annual pavement cost can be defined as the average yearly expenditure necessary to build and maintain a pavement in good repair over its useful life. The following factors determine annual costs.
The quality paving material, concrete, is often thought to be much higher in first cost than asphalt. Actually for concrete and asphalt pavements that have reasonably comparable initial load-carrying abilities, the first cost difference, if any, is small. Larger differences occur only when a durable concrete pavement is compared with an inadequate asphalt pavement.
Why are cities increasing their minimum standards for streets? Inadequate performance and excessive maintenance are the reasons. Expanding communities need money to build more streets and other utilities in order to attract new industry and responsible citizens. It is impossible to build these new streets when current operating budgets are being devoured by maintenance requests for sealing, patching, and resurfacing. Studies show a four-to-one and a seven-to-one cost advantage for concrete in reduced pavement maintenance. Many communities whose street maintenance budgets have been depleted by continual repair of substandard streets have now recognized the necessity for building high-quality streets. Realizing that their streets should be constructed to last as long as the adjacent homes, communities now insist on only concrete for new subdivision streets. The cost of these streets is most often borne by the developer and passed on to the home or condominium buyer with the cities or counties assuming all necessary future maintenance paid for by taxes on all property owners. Insisting on high-quality concrete ensures adequate streets for years to come.
What is the Service Life of Concrete Pavement?
How does the life expectancy of a concrete pavement compare with that of asphalt pavement? A Federal Highway Administration report (“Service Lives of Highway Pavements,” Public Roads, August 1971) gives the average surface life of concrete roads as 25 years and asphalt as 15 years. For city pavements, the vast number of 30 to 50-year-old concrete streets readily attests to their performance beyond the study figure of 25 years, while most asphalt streets would be hard pressed to last for 15 years. Are your asphalt streets giving you 15 years of uninterrupted performance?
What is True Pavement Cost?
In determining the true cost, the first cost must be spread over the pavement’s useful service life. For concrete this may be anywhere from 30 to 50 years. To this must be added the annual maintenance costs. It costs four to seven times as much to maintain an asphalt pavement.
How Safe is True Pavement?
With traffic accidents claiming many lives each year, safety is a vital element in planning and building city streets. Highway engineers, safety officials, and the motoring public are all looking for every possible means of reducing this toll. Safety authorities have long agreed that there are three essential elements in any traffic safety program– education, enforcement, and engineering. While engineering can’t build an accident-proof highway, it can provide greater safety through the use of concrete pavements. Concrete’s gritty texture maintains its skid-resistant properties throughout its life– wet or dry. Night driving is always hazardous, but on city streets it is particularly so because of many pedestrians, bicyclists, and parked cars. It is most desirable for a residential street to have high light reflectivity. The added safety factor of concrete’s extra visibility is hard to measure, but if it contributes to the saving of even one life, it would be of immense value. In addition to promoting greater driving safety, bright, well-lighted streets are a deterrent to crime, as law officials have frequently observed.
How is the Appearance of True Pavement?
Concrete streets are attractive because of their clean, even surface. Concrete streets stay that way too. They wash clean with every rain. There is no gummy surface to bind dirt and debris to the pavement, no loose sand or stones to mar the finish of your automobile. The clean appearance of concrete lasts for the life of the pavements and continues to be a source of pride and satisfaction to the city fathers who specified them, the contractors who built them, and the property owners who live on them.
A LIFETIME INVESTMENT:
Neat, well-lit neighborhoods attract good neighbors and build community spirit. A street is like a home; it is an investment that should last a lifetime. A home well-built of good materials requires little maintenance. Streets should be the same– substantially built of quality materials with little upkeep needed.
Have your streets produced a value to you and your community commensurate with their cost? They have if they are concrete. This close look shows taxpayers benefit in these ways:
- Lowest annual cost
- Adequate design
- Built-in safety features
- Superior performance
- Attractive appearance