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View Poll Results: If you were the director that had to build a new road(e. g. motorway), which surface would you choos
Definitely concrete 8 12.31%
Rather concrete 11 16.92%
I never mind 1 1.54%
Rather asphalt 14 21.54%
Definitely asphalt 26 40.00%
Don't know 5 7.69%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 18th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #1
ukraroad
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Concrete vs Asphalt - what is better?(Poll)

Guys, I've prepared a poll question for you, inspired by the discussion at the Polish road forum: if you were the director of the road agency in your country(never mind which) - would you order to put concrete or asphalt as the surface on a newly built road(never mind which)?
Explain why have you chosen so.

Please no quarrelling in this thread - imagine that these are only elections with possible peaceful debates.

I'll also list the pros and cons of both surface types that you'll show while explaining your opinion below(to be objective, I'll write in after 50 users voted there):

Asphalt:
+Elastic material that withstands freezing/melting processes better than concrete
+Quiet
+Quick resurfacing/repaving possible
+
+

-Less durable than concrete
-Prone to leaving tracks under big pressure and high temperature
-
-
-

Concrete:
+Durable, longer service until repair(doesn't cover in potholes in a significant time)
+Good for countries where there is little money spent for roadcare
+
+
+

-Seams between plates over years become bumps which make an uncomfortable feeling
-Expensive
-Loud
-
-
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Last edited by ukraroad; August 20th, 2016 at 11:13 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 06:02 PM   #2
ukraroad
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Personally, I rather chose concrete because of its durability.
Why so? The H01 near Kyiv(where there is reconstruction now, even though the road was pretty fine) was concrete for more than 30 years, and still there were no roadbump/potholes liquidation nor resurfacing since then. Still, its state was pretty good. No bumps/holes, maybe some noise because of the tyres hitting against the concrete panels' borders.
I know it is more expensive, but, as for our country(Ukraine) - it is a definitely better option when it comes to building new roads, because our roadcare suffers as for now.
I would not resurface asphalt to concrete, however, unless the asphalt is in an awful condition. That is why I'd be a bit more in favour to concrete.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 10:04 AM   #3
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I didn't mean to influence the voting by my subjective opinion
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Old August 19th, 2016, 11:12 AM   #4
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I voted for asphalt because of several reasons.

1) In the arctic areas, the ground moves during every spring where the frost melts. Only elastic materials like asphalt seem to stand that. There have been several projects in Finland during the last decades trying to find a method to build a durable concrete road, all failing miserably.

2) As the concrete road is typically made of slabs, there are seams at regular intervals. Earlier or later, the seams turn bumps making the driving less comfortable.

A long time ago, we happened to get familiar with a concrete-slab road leading to the holiday resort Tranum Strand in Denmark. Since that, we have called such roads just Tranum.

https://goo.gl/maps/3s86GxFZBeL2

3) Concrete causes more noise from tires than asphalt
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Old August 19th, 2016, 12:07 PM   #5
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I usually prefer asphalt, but seeing how some roads become with no maintenance concrete can be better for long term. Had the chance to drive on old motorway in Czezhia. I think it was old an even though it was alot of noises and bumps, like really many bumps it looked good. Dont think I had any problem staying straight even under heavy rain.
Asphalt can be a problem if it is not a good constructed and problematic.

But new layed asphalt is just a pure feeling to drive on
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Old August 19th, 2016, 05:56 PM   #6
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Btw, I never saw any concrete road with "tracks" on them
On old asphalt, these are an often occurrence:
Made in Kraków
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Old August 19th, 2016, 09:32 PM   #7
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In Łódź we have a few streets still having very old and poor quality asphalt, and in one place on one of those streets it happens every few years, when it's very hot in summer, that a bus gets stuck in this asphalt.

It's here: https://goo.gl/maps/Uqb84qhQQyR2

Now we don't use asphalt on busy bus stops any more. For some time concrete block paving was used, but it didn't work well, there was also this "tracks" effect (called rut in English): https://goo.gl/maps/cior5HurKXH2 (there are worse cases than this one), so now we use just concrete: https://goo.gl/maps/xqDVSYDcPdA2 (this place doesn't look so any more, but just to show how it looks like)

The situation with a bus stuck in the asphalt looks so:



It's rather not possible with modern asphalt, but... with concrete it's not possible at all. Unless it's fresh and not yet solidified.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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The Netherlands doesn't use a concrete surface on motorways anymore, the last few stretches were phased out over the past 5 - 10 years. Traffic volumes are too high on most motorways to operate long-term construction zones associated with concrete maintenance / replacement. It would cause a lot of congestion.

Everything is asphalt, mostly porous asphalt, so there isn't any spray during rain and it significantly reduces noise, not only compared to concrete, but also compared to regular asphalt.

Asphalt can be resurfaced in a short period of time, in the Netherlands they typically do resurfacing works overnight, or during a weekend closure. So there are practically no long-term construction zones as you have in Belgium, Germany, Austria, etc.

A few Dutch motorways have a concrete foundation with asphalt on top. But this is relatively rare. Some older concrete surfaces have been torn apart to function as a foundation for an asphalt wearing course.

The Netherlands also has a preventive maintenance cycle on motorways. Unlike other countries where they only patch the asphalt up. Patchworks eventually results in a weakened sub layer, so you need full-depth repaving instead of just overlaying the wearing course. This is another reason why the Netherlands has excellent pavement quality while not having a lot of construction works during the day.

On urban streets, the Netherlands typically uses concrete at bus stops and increasingly frequently at intersections, to reduce the deformation of accelerating and stopping traffic. In my city they are also replacing most bike paths with concrete (used to be asphalt). We'll see how comfortable they are after 10 or 15 years. Bike paths tend to get little maintenance.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 11:59 PM   #9
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You are a small and dense populated country, so you don't have much choice.

In Poland, only in Warsaw I have heard about short weekend road repavings. In other cities, or at least in Łódź, it always takes more time. Not to mention that for a few years they don't even do proper repairs of the potholes (properly, they should cut a rectangular piece of asphalt around it out and repave it), but only, as you call it, patchwork. Which is bad, because it leads to rapid destruction of the road surface. The "patchwork" can be done as a temporary solution in the winter time, when the temperatures don't allow to do a proper repair.

See here: https://goo.gl/maps/kyufvymdhRG2 and a few hundred meter forward - you can see proper repairs that had been done until a few years ago, but also a few clumsily "repaired" potholes that get worse and worse every winter.

And here is the part of the road managed by the state: https://goo.gl/maps/KBTEkpqVtbs - you can see traces of repairs, but of repairs done professionally. They often do it already when there are first signs of damaged surface, like spiderweb pattern on the asphalt, without waiting until it worsens and a real pothole appears. I don't think it weakens the sub-layer so much. And until there is many of such patches on the road, the driving is still comfortable. Then the time to repave it comes.

The cycle paths began getting popular in Poland only recently, so I cannot say much about repaving them. And until a few years ago they were usually made using concrete block paving:



but after getting much criticism from the cyclists, they started to build them using asphalt:



Unfortunately, the cyclists on the cycle paths in Poland are treated more like pedestrians than more like cars. There are often missing connections with the street, sometimes the cycle path breaks somewhere and there is no connection with the roadway, or they are built in places where they are not needed due to low speed of the cars (and the cyclists are not allowed to use the roadway when there is a cycle path). But it's a topic for a different thread.

I haven't heard about cycle paths made of concrete (concrete like on highways, not concrete block paving). Talking about intersections - I can think of only one in the whole Poland: https://goo.gl/maps/iybKauowPUG2
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Old August 20th, 2016, 02:05 PM   #10
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New bus stops in Kraków, for some ef**** reasons, are paved by concrete blocks, which look OK but are awful in service:
Przybyszewskiego bus stop, Kraków(towards Bronowice)
Zarzecze bus stop(Kraków), towards center, with ruts and even patchwork
Asphalt is no good, either:
Miasteczko Studenckie AGH stop, Kraków(towards center)
The concrete stops are so far the best:
Zarzecze bus stop, Kraków(towards Bronowice)
Moreover, asphalt is superb just after repairs - best of all surfaces possible:
Jasnogórska-Armii Krajowej streets tunnel. However, it's made of oil, and because of that I think concrete is more ecological. Is it?
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Old August 20th, 2016, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Netherlands doesn't use a concrete surface on motorways anymore, the last few stretches were phased out over the past 5 - 10 years. Traffic volumes are too high on most motorways to operate long-term construction zones associated with concrete maintenance / replacement. It would cause a lot of congestion.

Everything is asphalt, mostly porous asphalt, so there isn't any spray during rain and it significantly reduces noise, not only compared to concrete, but also compared to regular asphalt.

Asphalt can be resurfaced in a short period of time, in the Netherlands they typically do resurfacing works overnight, or during a weekend closure. So there are practically no long-term construction zones as you have in Belgium, Germany, Austria, etc.

A few Dutch motorways have a concrete foundation with asphalt on top. But this is relatively rare. Some older concrete surfaces have been torn apart to function as a foundation for an asphalt wearing course.

The Netherlands also has a preventive maintenance cycle on motorways. Unlike other countries where they only patch the asphalt up. Patchworks eventually results in a weakened sub layer, so you need full-depth repaving instead of just overlaying the wearing course. This is another reason why the Netherlands has excellent pavement quality while not having a lot of construction works during the day.

On urban streets, the Netherlands typically uses concrete at bus stops and increasingly frequently at intersections, to reduce the deformation of accelerating and stopping traffic. In my city they are also replacing most bike paths with concrete (used to be asphalt). We'll see how comfortable they are after 10 or 15 years. Bike paths tend to get little maintenance.
I mean this is great and all but the Netherlands is a tiny speck of a country.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 07:28 PM   #12
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A case in point why asphalt is better for maintenance operations and traffic flow. The Arizona Department of Transportation is resurfacing 6 lanes of Loop 101 in Scottsdale (Phoenix) over this weekend.

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Old August 20th, 2016, 08:34 PM   #13
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Belarus recently opted for concrete roads, the first one to be built this way is the MKAD-2







https://auto.onliner.by/2015/10/06/mkad-2-10
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Old August 20th, 2016, 11:26 PM   #14
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In Poland we use both technologies on the motorways. Sometimes asphalt, sometimes concrete. So we will see which one is better

But as for now, it seems that asphalt gets destructed faster, but it can be easily renovated. Concrete is more durable, but any repairs are much more expensive.

We have also roads that used to be paved with concrete blocks (usually an older type - so called "trylinka", there was no modern concrete block pavement in those times), or even cobblestone, and this kind of pavement has been covered with asphalt. Now it's rather not done anymore, but in the past, when there was not enough funds for a proper road surface exchange, and the traffic was also much smaller than nowadays, it was quite a common technique.

In my area there was also a case, when they were going to renovate an asphalt street which was in a very bad condition. They was going to exchange only the top layer. But it turned out... that there is only the top layer, there is no sub-layer. So they had to build the whole road from the beginning.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 10:27 AM   #15
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I prefer concrete to asphalt, that's my own preference.

In Victoria there's barely any concrete roads. The only examples I know are the final 1.5km of the ring road at Greensborough and Keilor Park Dve near the airport.

In NSW the Hume Hwy and Pacific Hwy (the duplicated sections) are made with concrete but single lane sections are asphalt.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 06:57 PM   #16
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In former USSR, there were dams constructed with concrete, usually with roads made of the same concrete. In fact, we have that dam since Khrushchov times(1950s), and, unfortunately, have that road made of the same material as the dam covering. Now one that drives on a car is quite OK, even though the seams are usually eroded so that they becomes stripes of inter-concrete-slab "pavement", but it's awful on a bike. However, if the asphalt were not repared for that time, it'd be a catastrophe.
Here is the example:
Dambova str./ Rusanovski dachas and gardens, Kyiv.
BTW, the primary surface on the Voskresenko-Podolski bridge(construction suspended) is concrete(I've been there on top, illegally)
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Old August 25th, 2016, 07:31 AM   #17
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Do you guys know whether the runways in airports are made more using concrete or asphalt?
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