Hot mix asphalt is a high-quality and carefully engineered paving material. The benefits of asphalt range from its high performance to its environmental friendliness and sustainability to its low cost. Learn the basics of asphalt and the many benefits it offers.
For an introduction to the quick, economical and environmentally-friendly way that asphalt pavements are designed, built and recycled, watch this eight-minute video that highlights the modern processes involved.
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What is Hot Mix Asphalt?
Hot mix asphalt is a paving material made of two basic components: aggregates (stone, gravel and sand) and liquid asphalt (the petroleum-based binder or “glue”). These are mixed at elevated temperatures to make the paving materials used to build Wisconsin’s roadways. Learn more about the components of HMA and how it is made at What is Hot Mix Asphalt?
WAPA has compiled advice for homeowners interested in enjoying the benefits of an asphalt driveway in its Driveway Guidelines [PDF]. Homeowners are urged to select a laydown contractor from among WAPA Members for their residential paving needs.
“Nomad pavers” are the bane of the HMA industry. Out-of-state contractors migrate through the area during the summer and provide low-quality product without any project follow-through. They may offer unbeatable deals (“I have some extra mix and can pave your driveway at a discount…”), but buyer beware! These contractors are not Wisconsin-based companies and are obviously not WAPA members. WAPA recommends using WAPA members and checking the reputation of any company you use. After you have paid your “nomad paver,” WAPA has no means to help you if problems arise. Please check out your contractor with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.
Environmental and Sustainability Benefits
Asphalt will be part of a green tomorrow. Learn about the environmental and sustainability aspects of asphalt, and what WAPA is doing to promote environmental stewardship on our Sustainable Pavement page.
Asphalt is the high-performing pavement. It is the Smooth Pavement that not only promotes fuel economy, but results in safer roads as well. Asphalt is also the Quiet Pavement [PDF], which means less noise pollution.
Looking at the costs both to build and maintain pavements, the Low Life-Cycle Costs of asphalt pavements show that they are the clear choice. Add to that the time savings — both to the public and to affected businesses — of the Speed of Construction of asphalt pavements and the decision is even easier. Current generation pavements promise even cost benefits in the years ahead: A Perpetual Pavement is an asphalt pavement designed to last for half a century or more with only surface reconditioning.