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Why is bitumen widely used in roads as opposed to concrete?

Question asked by bill yorke in #Civil & Structural on Feb 17, 2020
bill yorke
bill yorke · Feb 17, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

 There seems to be a lot of consideration that greatly favor road infrastructure construction with bitumen as opposed to concrete, why could this be the case?

Posted in: #Civil & Structural
calvin hebb
calvin hebb · May 13, 2021

 The choice between concrete or asphalt when constructing various types of roads, highways and interstates is based on many different factors.  However, in general, Asphalt tends to be overall less expensive, especially labor cost.  

There is a different method of doing concrete construction for highway projects that has closed the financial gap between asphalt and concrete.  It is called Roller Compacted Concrete.  It is supposed to combine the strength of concrete with the installation of asphalt.  It is mixed extremely dry and placed in a dump truck.  Then the concrete is spread using an asphalt spreader and rolled with a smooth drum roller.  And... It supposedly only takes 24 hours to cure and be driven on...  Time will tell if the strength is still the same as traditional concrete.  If it does have the same strength as traditional concrete and the cost vs asphalt is minimal, I imagine we will see a lot more roller compacted concrete.  However, there is still an added cost when it comes time to replace a section of road.  A concrete roadway is much more difficult/expensive to replace once it is worn than asphalt. 

There are other considerations, but these are the major ones I know of...

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