Next Generation Pavements

The United States has more than two million miles of paved roads. Maintenance is a continual issue for local and state transportation agencies, but new pavements being developed are more sustainable, less costly, and yield other benefits such as capturing stormwater runoff.

There are several innovative pavement types that are gaining traction, including:

  • Porous pavements: Porous pavements allow stormwater to percolate through the pavement and enter the soil below. Porous pavements work by allowing streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and other typically impervious covers to retain their natural infiltration capacity. In many instances porous pavements can be used in place of conventional asphalt or concrete in an ultra-urban environment. They are generally not suited for areas with high traffic volumes or loads.
  • Rubberized asphalt: Waste materials like rubber tires are being incorporated into pavement products.
  • Warm-mix asphalt: A recent survey found that almost a third of all asphalt produced during the 2013 construction season was produced using warm-mix asphalt technologies, compared to less than five percent in 2009.