Why are streets usually asphalt and sidewalks usually concrete?


Why are streets usually asphalt and sidewalks usually concrete?

In: 10

Different use cases. Sidewalks don’t take much load or wear (feet aren’t that heavy)…you basically want to make them once and ignore them forever.

Roads get a ton of wear, they’re not going to last forever. It’s a given that you’ll resurface them at various points in their life. Asphalt is easier to remove, resurface, and return to service. And, depending on what you did to it, it can be easier to repair.

Concrete lasts a long time but when it is time to replace is very difficult and expensive to do. A concrete sidewalk will last basically forever as people don’t cause enough wear and tear to damage it. A roadway even when concrete will need to be replaced every few years. It’s better to use fast cheap asphalt every 5 years then slow expensive concrete every 10 years.

Cycles of repeated freezing and thawing of the ground are *terrible* for roads, and will destroy them no matter what you make them out of. So roads get made out of asphalt, which is easier to repair and repave.

In warmer areas where freezing is less of an issue, many roads do get made from concrete. It resists everyday wear and tear better, and so it lasts longer.

Rubber tyres have more adherence to asphalt than concrete. That is a safety feature when talking about driving. There are concrete roads when asphalt is not viable, but asphalt is preferred for safety.

Concrete will last longer. Much longer. But asphalt is faster to repair and reusable. Concrete might take a day or more to cure. Asphalt is ready in hours. Roads need to be repaired often, again for safety. Sidewalks will not suffer wear from heavy vehicles passing over them, so concrete is a better option as you don’t need it to be grippier for you to walk.

Concrete roads are horrible to drive on.
They are usually made of concrete slabs, as it seems it is either impractical or too expensive to pour a whole road, and after a while the seams between the slabs wear.
It is like driving on a train track – going over the sleepers.