Public Works magazine highlighted the “battle royale” between concrete and asphalt roads in the April 2012 issue.
In the editorial “Construction season’s Battle Royale,” editor Stephanie Johnston featured results from a February 29, 2012, survey of a Public Works e-newsletter, that showed 52 percent of respondents preferred concrete for pavement materials.
Virtually all concrete supporters mentioned longevity as the reason they favored concrete. Several said it's easy to maintain “if installed correctly,” is more readily recycled, and can be made porous.
Asphalt was lauded for its ease of placement and maintenance.
In the same issue, “Asphalt vs. concrete: the fight to pave our roads,” reported on issues being used by both material camps to improve market share. The article cited recent PCA reports that show how increasing oil prices and changes in the oil-refining process have forced asphalt prices up and brought concrete in as the cheaper alternative on initial cost and life-cycle cost.
PCA's Chief Economist Ed Sullivan was featured, explaining how “flawed” life-cycle cost analysis calculations that use the same discount rate for expected concrete and asphalt cost increases—even though concrete costs have risen slower than asphalt—underestimate concrete's long-term cost advantage.
The article also reported on the response by National Asphalt Pavement Association to recent life-cycle cost analysis research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Concrete Sustainability Hub.
Read more on the Public Works website.