No one likes the jarring sensation of hitting a curb while driving, so why do we need them?
Curbs—or the raised concrete forms at the edges of roads, parking lots, and other paved areas—serve many different purposes. While it may be unpleasant to run into them, curbs are a necessary part of any roadway or paved area.
The Importance of Curbs
Curbs are most often made of formed or poured concrete, though they can be made of a number of other materials. There are many different shapes a curb could take, but most often they rise above a roadway or other paved surface by a number of inches, only sloping down at points where vehicles or pedestrians must cross them, like driveways, entrances, and walkways.
Curbs serve many purposes in the makeup of a safe and well-planned roadway or paved area. The functions of curbs include:
- Reinforcement. Curbs create a barrier for the material of a road or other paved surface—usually made of asphalt—to contain the pavement. On any pavement, but especially on asphalt pavement, the edges are the weakest point. If the edges of the pavement don’t have something to rest against, such as a curb, then the pavement would be stressed every time a vehicle drove on the edges, and damage like cracks and pavement deterioration would form. Curbs help to reinforce the edges of the pavement.
- Creating a gutter. Many curbs incorporate a gutter that diverts stormwater runoff into sewers. Since the curb is higher than the roadway, water is channeled into the proper place. This keeps water from being a hazard both on the road and on sidewalks, and from doing damage to the pavement.
- Creating a safety zone. A curb delineates the point at which the road ends and a sidewalk begins. It essentially helps to keep vehicles from driving up into areas where pedestrians would be. While it is jarring to accidentally drive into a curb, that shock lets drivers know that they are encroaching into areas where a vehicle should not be. It’s much safer to be jarred back onto the roadway while driving than to have the vehicle drift onto a sidewalk and hit a pedestrian.
Tucker Paving is your go-to resource for all your asphalt and concrete paving needs. We have over 25 years of experience in residential and commercial paving construction. We also offer pre-construction services and site construction services like site clearing, site grading, stabilized subgrade, base work, underground utilities, and more. Contact us online, or call us at (863) 299-2262, for assistance with your asphalt and concrete paving projects!