Nationwide, billions of dollars are invested in roadway networks by municipal, state and federal governments. It is not uncommon for the smallest municipalities to spend upwards of 1 million dollars per mile of roadway. This means that even very small municipal districts could be sitting on a 100 million dollar infrastructure asset that needs to be maintained. A roadway network that is taken care of properly will provide many economic and social advantages to a city, as well as its people.
Roadway networks form the economic backbone of a community. They provide means for goods to be exchanged, commerce to flourish and commercial enterprises to generate revenue. Higher pavement network quality is strongly correlated with increased household incomes, and provides a valuable incentive to attract new businesses and other outside investments.
On top of the economic boons, the social benefits of a well-maintained pavement network cannot be overstated. Increased social integration promotes diversity, a greater sense of community, and reduced income inequality throughout a city.
Roadways Drive Investments
The quality of the roadway is likely among the first things a visitor will notice upon touring a city. First impressions are important, and each and every visitor should be seen as a potential investor in the community. Pavement segments that have an aesthetic appeal are likely to draw increased investments such as high income residential neighborhoods and more high-end shopping districts. Likewise, a well maintained industrial network will attract large investments in factories and other major job creators. Balancing the maintenance of these networks with limited budgets is a major challenge that all municipalities face.
Impacts of a Degrading Network
The devastating impacts of a deteriorating and improperly maintained pavement network are anything but subtle, and can actually take quite a toll. Poor road conditions increase fuel and tire consumption while shortening intervals between vehicle repair and maintenance. In turn, these roads result in delayed or more expensive deliveries for businesses and consumers. This can lead to rapid divestment from industry and residents in your city; the consequence of which is difficult to quantify and may take decades to completely recover from.
Neglect of a pavement network could also put your city in the crosshairs of multiple civil lawsuits from personal injury or even a failure to comply with ADA standards. When cutting transportation budgets, local governments should be aware of the adverse consequences that may bring about important and unanticipated welfare effects on a community, damaging the social fabric of a city through the mismanagement of pavement.
Letting your pavement infrastructure funding slide can send you down a slippery slope of greater investment requirements over time and reduced service to the public. As a segment of pavement ages, aesthetic defects begin to give way to load associated distresses. Load associated distresses, such as alligator cracking or wheel path rutting, are directly related to traffic loading and structural capacity. The appearance of these pavement distresses indicates that the base structure of a road is beginning to fail, and much more expensive rehabilitation activities will be needed to restore the road to good condition and prolong its lifespan.
Doing it Right (for) the First Time
A well-managed pavement network brings a high level or service and pride to a city. This in turn attracts investments in business and industry, as well as fosters a healthy, diverse and prosperous community. Conversely, a poorly maintained pavement network suffers from an increasingly unmanageable deteriorating asset, poor service to a community and divestment from local businesses and industry.
Governments at all levels must wake up to the importance of a proactive maintenance approach when dealing with their pavement network. A city’s pavement network is akin to a circulatory system through which your community lives and breathes. The impacts of choking that system should not be taken lightly.
If learning about the advantages of well-maintained pavement got your blood flowing, check out our article, "How to Spot a Failing Asphalt Street". Learn how you can recognize a street that is in serious need of repairs.
5/6/2021 07:35:33 pm
I appreciated it when you shared that it is important to have your driveway maintained in order to provide a good impression to your visitors. My uncle just mentioned the other day that he is thinking of improving the look of his home as he is planning to have a party soon. I will suggest to him fixing his driveway that has several cracks by hiring a reliable service that can help to do so.
7/1/2021 07:02:55 am
It is such a good point that roads are basically the first impression visitors will have of a city or town. I know that growing up the small town I lived in had really bad bumpy roads and it was always the first thing new people would bring up when driving around. I wish I could send this article to the mayor of the town or something so he knows how important it is to have nice roads.
9/7/2021 02:40:00 pm
Wow, it was really interesting when the article talked about how neglected roadways can end up in lawsuits if a city doesn't take care of them. I would imagine that it would be a good idea for cities to use asphalt pavement when maintaining the roadways. As far as I know, asphalt is more durable and easier to repair than concrete.
9/17/2021 01:22:26 pm
It was interesting when this article mentioned that billions of dollars are invested in roadway networks. I would imagine that many roadways are made out of asphalt. I would guess that asphalt is so popular because of how easy it is to repair.
2/16/2022 10:11:24 pm
I like that this post mentioned that it is important for us to be mindful of hiring the right residential paving service as it impacts the outcome of our pavement. The other day my wife mentioned she is thinking of having asphalt pavement made for our home. I will definitely encourage her to hire an experienced contractor.
9/19/2022 05:35:56 am
I appreciated you pointing out that a visitor will first notice the quality of the roadway. My friend wants their pavement to be durable. I should advise him to hire a paving service with years of experience in the field.
9/29/2022 08:12:13 am
Great article! This is nice so that people will know what the do's and don'ts when working with their driveways.
10/5/2022 09:30:50 pm
I appreciate you mentioning that pavement segments with the visual appeal are likely to attract greater investment, such as affluent residential areas and more upscale shopping areas. To increase the value of my home, I want to remodel it. I'll hire a skilled asphalt paver to assist me in paving my parking lot.
10/11/2022 08:13:25 am
I have an uncle who's investing in commercial construction in a few months, and he mentioned he wants to make sure the buildings look appealing to future clients. I liked what you explained about keeping your roadways and driveways well-maintained to provide a good first impression to your visitors, so I'll make sure my uncle gets this insight right now.
I never took into account that you can get lawsuits from the neglected pavement when someone gets injured on your property or when you are not compliant with the ADA standards. In that case, a business driveway asphalt paving project should be done by a professional in this kind of industry, because a residential project would probably be way different from a commercial one. And handling different specialties might not be the best for your investment.
12/2/2022 07:02:33 pm
Thanks for pointing out that the asset can deteriorate and would lead to poor service when the pavement is not maintained. In that case, we have to invest in asphalt paving contractors to take care of our driveway for us now that we moved into our new place. It has that kind of material on its driveway which is one of the reasons why we actually chose this property to begin with.
12/20/2022 06:18:11 am
I want to make sure that I take good care of my driveway. It's good to know that asphalt can be maintained correctly. I'll be sure to work with a professional so that they can sealcoat it correctly.
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