Asphalt Paving: A History

Asphalt Paving: A History

These days, asphalt is extremely common. Roads, parking lots, and most driveways are all made of asphalt paving.

These days, asphalt is extremely common. Roads, parking lots, and most driveways are all made of asphalt paving. In fact, 96% of all the paved roads and streets in America are asphalt. It’s hard to imagine, but asphalt in America is less than 200 years old! Back then, it was considered genius and a revolutionary concept. Today, asphalt is so common we almost never spare it a second thought.

Ancient Asphalt

The first recorded evidence of an asphalt road is from 625 B.C. Now, this was an asphalt road, but up to that point very early versions of asphalt were widely used in building things. The most common uses were to use the asphalt as mortar between stones and to seal out water.

In 500 B.C., the Ancient Greeks were really exploring the properties of asphalt material in depth. The actual word “asphalt” comes from the Greek “asphatos”, which means to secure. They were able to explore the material and use it to their full advantage. Back then, asphalt was used for ship caulking, waterproofing, building walls, and even for embalming.

The First Modern Asphalt Road

The Champs-Elysses is a wide boulevard that runs through Paris, France. In 1824, large blocks of natural asphalt were used to make it the very first modern asphalt road. At the time, this was a huge project. Today, it is known as the world’s firs asphalt paved road.

America’s First Asphalt Road

46 years after the paving of the Champs-Elysses, in 1870, an asphalt road was laid down in America. Belgian chemist Edmund J. Desmelt made the asphalt material that was placed in front of City Hall in Newark, New Jersey.

The Interstate Highway Act

In 1956, Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act. With the passing of this revolutionary new law, states were awarded 51 billion dollars so that they could improve road construction. It was the largest public works project to date. It introduced new asphalt paving equipment and techniques, such as electronic leveling controls, extra-wide finishers for paving two lanes at once, and vibrating steel-wheel rollers.

Asphalt Maintenance and Repair from Tristate Paving

At Tristate Paving, we treat every job like it is our own, so we guarantee that you are going to love the end result. We have over three generations of experience in our family-owned business, so you will get excellent customer service, a beautiful finished product, and a very affordable cost. We offer everything from asphalt paving, to concrete work, to hardscaping for your commercial or residential property. If you want a free quote or to see what we can do for you, give us a call at (610) 563-9456 (West Chester), (610) 932-3566 (Oxford), Delaware (302) 757-4100, or visit us online. For more tips and tricks, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

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