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Choose Asphalt for Less Road Noise

If you’re trying to decide what type of paving material to use for a new road or highway, it can be a difficult decision to make. Each type of pavement provides both advantages and disadvantages. But if your paving project involves a roadway in a residential or commercial neighborhood where too much highway noise can be an issue, we recommend that you choose asphalt.
Before we explain why asphalt is the best choice to reduce road noise, let’s discuss briefly what causes excess traffic noise to begin with. Most road noise comes from three sources: the amount of traffic on the road; the speed of the traffic (the faster the traffic, the more noise it creates); and the size of the vehicles on the road (large trucks and heavy equipment creates more road noise). Municipalities, departments of transportation, and road planning organizations use several different methods to reduce road noise. Many times buffers are put in place, such as walls and/or making certain that the road is an adequate distance away from the residential or commercial area. Vegetation placed in strategic areas adjacent to the roadway can also serve as a noise buffer. Often, the vehicles themselves are regulated so that they produce less noise. This can include everything from fans to mufflers to engine enclosures, for example.

But one of the most effective ways to dramatically reduce traffic noise lies in the planning and design of the roadway itself. Typically, a flat road produces less traffic noise, for example. And the material makes a difference as well. This is where the advantages of asphalt come into play. Because of the porous nature of the paving material itself, asphalt absorbs more road noise than other paving materials. In fact, rubberized asphalt – a type of asphalt that utilizes recycled tires in the pavement mix – has been shown to reduce traffic noise by as much as 50 to 90%!

If you’re trying to decide what type of paving material to use for a large-scale road or highway project, talk to a local pavement contractor about the advantages of asphalt. In addition to reducing road noise, asphalt provides other advantages as well, such as: a smoother surface, which makes it safer for drivers; minimizing of splash and spray during rainstorms; and asphalt is more cost-effective than most other pavement options. It’s no wonder that so many government agencies and road planning organizations choose asphalt for their roadways!