This is The Question….To Pave or Not to Pave?

asphalt maintenance Las VegasBack in 1918, the Lincoln Highway connecting Nevada and Ames, Iowa, was a deeply rutted dirt road that turned to mud with even a little rain. Within two years, Iowa installed planks on sections of the highway. This helped, but woe to any driver whose tire fell off the plank.

Although the Las Vegas area seldom sees enough rain to turn a dirt road to mud, a dry dirt road presents its own challenges. Engineers report that each car driving down a dirt road produces about 4.5 pounds of airborne dust for every mile of travel. The dust will need to be cleaned from the vehicle, and it may penetrate the interiors of homes and businesses nearby, increasing their cleaning chores as well. In addition, the dust can make respiratory problems worse.

American roads have come a long way since the first nationwide survey of road conditions was conducted in 1904. Back then, there were approximately 154,000 miles of paved roads in the country, out of a total of 2 million miles of roadways. Today, we have almost 4.1 million miles of roads, but more than one-third of these remain unpaved.

Given that paved roads are quieter, safer and preferred by almost all drivers, it may seem strange that there are still so many gravel and dirt roads. Although reasons for not paving vary, in many instances, the primary reason is actually a myth: If subjected to heavy traffic, asphalt roads are more costly to maintain than gravel roads.

The only circumstance in which asphalt roads cost more to maintain are those involving a very low volume of traffic. Although the difference is not great, asphalt roads subjected to fewer than 100 vehicles per day typically cost more than gravel roads to maintain. Once you cross that 100-car threshold, however, maintenance costs for a gravel road are two to three times more than the costs for maintaining an asphalt-paved road.

Should gravel and dirt roads be paved? Yes, whenever it is possible to fund the initial installation, roads that average 75 to 100 cars per day should be paved to reduce future maintenance costs. As added bonuses, you may see enhanced property values, reduced accidents and possibly a stimulated local economy.

If you decide to install asphalt pavement, Affordable Striping & Sealing can help you prolong its life and keep it looking its best. We are a Las Vegas company specializing in asphalt maintenance and repair. Whether you need sealcoating, pavement marking or crack repairs, we provide exceptional results at affordable rates. To request a fee quote, you can submit our online request form or call 702-222-9009.