Most Common Types of Road Construction

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Everyone knows that time of year: the weather gets nicer, the sun shines brighter, and then road construction season begins. As you’re waiting in a line of traffic for the sign person to switch their stop sign to “slow,” you might wonder what types of material are often used for road construction in the United States. You may see different color variations depending on what road you’re driving on, and these can indicate different materials that serve different purposes. Here’s your guide to the most common types of road construction Boston MA.

Most Common Types of Road Construction


Asphalt has been around since the 1920s, and it’s stayed popular for a range of positive reasons. Asphalt is applied through a paving technique. The material is laid down on a layer of gravel that helps hold it in place. It then hardens and creates a smooth road to drive on. It’s relatively cheap to fix and easily maintained. However, it may require repairs more often than other choices.


Another incredibly common choice for road construction is concrete. This material is popular because of its durability and resilience to weather and wear. It generally lasts longer than asphalt, and is therefore more expensive to lay down. Concrete is usually placed in local roads and areas, but is not used for larger construction projects, such as highways.

Recycled Pavement

Believe it or not, pavement can be recycled to be used again. A road can be turned to gravel before another layer is applied over the top, or an application of asphalt may be used to seal cracks. A third recycling option requires completely destroying the road material, mixing it up and redistributing it a second time, allowing it to set by adding new binding agents.


Types of composites are generally made from a mixture of other materials, such as asphalt and concrete. Instead of being used to create an entirely new road, composite materials are usually deployed to fix and maintain current roads. They may be used to fill in potholes and seal over cracks, or they may simply be laid directly over the old road.

There are many types of road materials in use today, and construction technology has come a long way from when the first car hit the road in the 1880s. The next time you pass a construction area that involves replacing or renewing a road, you may have a better understanding of the materials and how they work.


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