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What is the difference between asphalt and


Asphalt is a related term of macadam.

As nouns the difference between asphalt and macadam

is that asphalt is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid, composed almost
entirely of bitumen, that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits
while macadam is (uncountable) the surface of a road consisting of layers of crushed stone
(usually tar-coated for modern traffic).

As a verb asphalt
is to pave with asphalt.

asphalt macadam

English English

Alternative forms Noun

* asphalte (en-noun)

Noun (uncountable) The surface of a

(en-noun) road consisting of layers of crushed
stone (usually tar-coated for
A sticky, black and highly viscous modern traffic).
liquid or semi-solid, composed
almost entirely of bitumen, that is (US|dated|countable) Any road or
present in most crude petroleums street
and in some natural deposits.
Related terms
asphalt concrete, a hard ground * (materials) asphalt, brick, cobbles,
covering used for roads and gravel, tar * (features and
walkways. construction techniques) crown,
crowning, dusting, paving, rolled,
Derived terms
subgrade * (equipment and tools)
* air-blown asphalt * asphalt jungle *
bulldozer, dump truck, grader, pan,
asphalt shingle * asphalt emulsion
roller, sheepfooter, steamroller *
See also (road surface types) cobblestone,
* tarmac dirt, gravel, hardtop, tarmac,
tarmacadam * (vias) highway, road,
Verb street
To pave with asphalt.
See also
References * asphalt * English eponyms

Asphalt Concrete (Macadam) is a dense, medium or open-graded blend of mineral aggregate

(course stone), crushed rock fines and bitumen that complies with IS EN 13108 and the NRA
Specification for Road Works. Being mainly aggregate based gives the mix its strength and this
can be categorised into three groups:

Base Course, Binder Course and Surface Course.

Base and Binder Courses provide structual strength to highway pavements, with thickness varying
according to the design, which is determinded by projected traffic levels.

Surfaces courses provide an interface between vehicle and the designed pavement.

Close graded Asphalt Concrete Surface courses are typically used in car-parks, housing estates
and lightly trafficed urban streets.

Open graded Asphalt Concrete Surface courses are used (sometimes in conjunction with open
textured Binder Courses) in applications such as footpaths, playgrounds and sports surfaces
where surface water is required to drain through the pavement to attenuatation or drainage
systems beneath.
Surface Treatment is the application of an asphalt
emulsion on either an existing asphalt road or a fresh,
compacted granular surface immediately followed by the
application of a cover aggregate.
It provides an economical all- weather surface for light to higher volume traffic depending on the emulsion and
quality of aggregate used. It also provides a waterproof barrier that prevents the intrusion of moisture into the
underlying materials and provide a skid resistant surface. It gives new life to a dry, weathered surface. A weathered,
raveled pavement can be restored to useful service by application of a single or multiple surface treatment.

The asphalt emulsion is a mixture of asphalt cement, water, and an emulsified agent. Its composition is
approximately 66% AC, 33% water and 1% emulsifier. It is applied with a computerized distributor, at rates varying
from 1.30kg/ m to 2.00kg/ m . The most commonly used emulsions are HF150, HF150P (Polymer), HFMS-2, and
CRS-2. Other emulsions are available for specific applications.

The Aggregate is divided into six different classes.

Class 1- washed chip

Class 2-comparable to 5/8 crusher run
Class 3- HL4
Class 4-Commonly known as a sand seal
Class 5-fine washed chip
Class 6- HL3

It is applied with a computerized chip spreader at rates varying from 12kg/ m to 22kg/ m .

These operations are immediately followed by rubber tired rollers, and depending on the application, a steel drum

Paving and Resurfacing

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for maintaining more than 125,000 lane miles of
roadway in Virginia.

1,118 lane miles* of interstate

8,111 lane miles of primary roads, which are numbered 599 and below.
48,305 lane miles of secondary roads. Secondary routes are numbered 600 and above, which includes subdivision
*One mile of every travel lane on a roadway equals one lane mile.
Virginias current highway network is the result of more than 100 years of investment in infrastructure that provides for
the economic activities and the mobility of people and goods throughout the commonwealth.

Preserving this investment is a core function of VDOT.

Choosing a Treatment Method

Each summer, VDOT must decide which roads will be resurfaced during the upcoming year. The roads being
resurfaced this year were decided upon the previous year. Contracts are awarded to private companies in the late fall
and winter for the following year.

With a limited amount of funding, roads in need of treatment must be prioritized. The appropriate treatment must be
selected in order to stretch the funding we have to address the maximum amount of roads possible.

To help accomplish this task, VDOT rates pavement conditions every year throughout the state. These conditions are
analyzed to determine the best type of treatment to extend the life of each pavement.

Treatments are chosen based on a variety of factors, including the current pavement condition, the ride quality, and
the volume of traffic a road carries.
While a road may not look deficient to the casual observer, samples of the roadway under testing can reveal
distresses that are concerning to VDOT.

Surface Treatment
Crews will be applying surface treatment. Asphalt will be sprayed directly onto the road, immediately followed by an
application of small stones which are rolled and compressed into the road so they are 50-70 percent embedded in the
pavement. This application is designed to extend the life of the pavement.

One of the final steps of the surface treatment process is a blot coat. During this step, sand is applied to prevent any
liquid asphalt from being picked up by vehicle tires, which could spray the asphalt onto a vehicles body. This sand
blot coat typically stays in place for 1-3 weeks. This allows the resurfacing materials to fully cure.

In some cases, when traffic and rain do not displace the residual sand during the curing time period, VDOT will
schedule additional roadway sweeping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can I expect work to begin on my street?
Exact work dates are generally not available until 10 days prior to work beginning as contractors set schedules based
on personnel and equipment availability. Giving contractors this flexibility allows Virginia to secure this work at a
competitive price.

Contractors will distribute a notice to each resident in a neighborhood approximately 30 days prior to work starting as
a general notification that your street has been identified for treatment. "No Parking" signs with precise date
information will be posted a minimum of 3 business days in advance of work starting.

Q: What will take place during this project? What will residents see, hear and observe?
Residents can expect to see work vehicles in their neighborhood and potentially on your street during the project. We
encourage motorists to remain alert to temporary traffic patterns.
The brief removal of vehicles from the street may be required when work is underway, as well as obstructions such
as basketball hoops or garbage cans.

Contractors are required to post "no parking" signs a minimum of 3 business days in advance along roads where on-
street parking will be prohibited during paving work.

Q: What are the work hours of this project?

Work hours are generally limited to weekdays between dawn and dusk.

Q: How does VDOT decide which roads receive treatment, and what treatment to apply?
VDOT tests the pavement condition on all interstates and primary roads each year, to see where the condition falls
on a scale of 1 to 100 on our Critical Condition Index. Any score below 60 falls into the poor category, with below 50
very poor.

These scores help us determine which sections of interstate and primary roads are in greatest need of maintenance
and repair. The scores look for problems caused by vehicle load, weather and the environment.

Pavement can appear to be in good condition as you drive down the road, but under testing, will reveal distresses
that are concerning to VDOT, and will result in a poor score.

For secondary roads, which includes subdivision streets, local VDOT maintenance staff perform road rides each
spring and summer and methodically travel routes that fall under its jurisdiction. Roads in need of repair are
inventoried and reviewed.

As funds become available each year, maintenance staff make a list of secondary roads that are most in need of
repair during the upcoming year.

Based on the roads condition, the maintenance staff recommends a treatment that is appropriate for the

Q: My road is not on the list of roads to be treated this year. How can I request that it receive treatment next
If you believe your road is in need of repair or treatment, you can contact VDOTs 24-hour Customer Service Center
at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) to let us know about your maintenance concerns.

Q: I would prefer my neighborhood receive a different treatment. Can my neighborhood ask to receive
something other than what we are scheduled to receive?
All treatments provide a new travel surface for users that reduces deterioration such as cracking, rutting, rough
pavement and friction loss.
All of the new surfaces will be less likely to deteriorate, and prolongs the life of the pavement in your neighborhood.

Q: How does VDOT oversee the contractors carrying out the work?
VDOT has inspectors on site to ensure work is carried out appropriately, and according to state specifications.

If you have a concern, please call VDOTs Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) or send an
e-mail to customerservice@VDOT.Virginia.Gov. We will be happy to discuss your individual concerns and questions.

Page last modified: March 24, 2015