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Workers spreading hot mix asphaltEconomic Importance

From creating new jobs to saving taxpayers money, the asphalt industry is a significant, positive driver for the American economy. The industry is made up of companies ranging from small driveway-paving operations to multimillion-dollar construction companies that produce and place asphalt on roads, airport runways and parking lots. Road construction provides a wide variety of work for transportation planners, civil engineers, construction management executives, equipment operators, laborers and many others. In fact, more than 300,000 Americans work in the asphalt industry.

Because time is money, asphalt pavement is cost-effective for drivers, paving contractors, local, state and federal transportation agencies, and taxpayers who foot the bill for roads. A 1995 study estimated traffic delays can cost motorists $14.22 per hour! On a busy interstate highway, traffic delays from a single construction project can easily cost a local economy more than two million dollars per day! That's why paving contracts are increasingly based on cost-plus-time bidding or include "lane rental." When the average concrete paving job costs about 3 times more than asphalt, it's no surprise that 94 percent of America's roads are asphalt.

In addition, American taxpayers save more than $300 million per year from recycling asphalt. The industry has also developed techniques for "rubblizing" concrete pavement and overlaying it with asphalt, creating a pavement far more economical and long-lasting than concrete.

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Approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. are employed by the asphalt industry.

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