Concrete and asphalt pavements: pros and cons

Concrete and asphalt are two competitive alternatives for highway pavements. In some countries concrete constitutes the pavement material on 15 to 30 percent of the main road network. In others, e.g., Sweden, the asphalt pavement has a market share of more than 99 percent. Both asphalt and concrete have certain advantages and disadvantages. Important asphalt advantages are flexural strength, performance on uneven support, construction cost, and reparability. Concrete advantages cover, e.g., load-carrying capacity, resistance to concentrated and sustained loads, wear resistance, fire resistance, and maintenance cost. Asphalt has low resistance against concentrated and sustained loads, especially at high temperatures. This may cause rutting. Its strength diminishes substantially at low temperatures. The shortcomings of concrete are mainly the same as the advantage of asphalt, i.e., flexural strength, performance on uneven support, high construction costs and difficulties to repair if needed. When selecting pavement alternative, the optimum solution depends on numerous factors. Both in Sweden and internationally, combined solutions with concrete pavement in the most densely trafficked part of the road and asphalt pavement in remote parts have been selected in recent projects. This contribution will discuss pros and cons for the two alternatives. Also specific conditions, i.e., the tunnel environment, and a special solution, the combined alternative called whitetopping will be discussed (A). Only abstract (as above) is available from the conference proceedings. For the covering abstract of the conference see ITRD E212343.

  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01102481
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2008 7:46AM