Asphalt is all around us, but it’s a paving material that many don’t know enough about. Take our quiz about the basics of asphalt.

  1. What is the most recycled material in the U.S.?
    1. Asphalt
    2. Metal
    3. Paper
    4. Glass

Answer: A. Asphalt! Asphalt is the most recycled material in the U.S. with a recycle rate of 99 percent, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association. In comparison, steel cans are recycled at a rate of about 70 percent, aluminum cans are recycled at a rate of 55 percent, and glass is recycled at a rate of 31 percent. Additionally, recycling asphalt also leads to the recycling of other products, like roofing shingles, tires, and metal castings, and it also conserves other materials, like asphalt binder.

2. What percentage of the U.S.’s 2.3 million miles of road are paved with asphalt?

  1. 54%
  2. 74%
  3. 84%
  4. 94%

Answer: D. 94%. Asphalt is the go-to choice for paving America’s roadways because it is durable, cost-effect, quick to install, simple to maintain, and it lasts for decades with proper maintenance. In addition to 94 percent of America’s roads being paved with asphalt, 65 percent of the U.S.’s interstate system are also asphalt. 

3. Which of the following is the earliest record of asphalt being used?

  1. Used for waterproofing in the Indus Valley civilization from approximately the 5th millennium BCE.
  2. Used by the ancient Egyptians to embalm mummies.
  3. In the 1200s by tribes indigenous to the west coast of the U.S. as an adhesive for tools and other items.
  4. In the early 1800s by a Scottish man named John McAdam who mixed asphalt with sand and stone to make a hard road surface.

Answer: A. The very first record of asphalt being used thus far was by the Indus Valley civilization in the form of waterproofing and as an adhesive for a crop storage basket. However, all of the other options are also examples of the past use of asphalt; its use has been documented by the ancient Greeks, the Sumerians, in Babylon, by ancient Japan, and more.

4. Asphalt is called the “perpetual pavement” because it can easily be renewed by removing, recycling, and reapplying the top layer; the Perpetual Pavement Award is given to recognize pavements that have lasted at least 35 years and have never had a structural failure. The first recipient of the award, given in 2001, went to the New Jersey Turnpike. How old was the turnpike’s asphalt pavement at that point in time?

  1. 35 years
  2. 40 years
  3. 45 years
  4. 50 years

 Answer: D. The New Jersey Turnpike’s asphalt pavement had already lasted for 50 years in 2001.

5. Which of the following is a benefit of using asphalt pavement?

  1. The smoothness of asphalt pavement lowers a vehicle’s fuel consumption, saves vehicles from wear and tear, and offers more traction for safety.
  2. Over an asphalt pavement’s lifespan, it is more economical than other types of pavements, such as concrete.
  3. Recycling asphalt pavement saves U.S. taxpayers roughly $2 billion dollars annually.
  4. Asphalt can be built and maintained quickly, saving drivers from traffic delays.
  5. All of the above

Answer: E. All of the options are benefits of asphalt pavement!

Tucker Paving is an asphalt and concrete paving construction company with over 25 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving industry! Contact us online, or call us at (863) 299-2262 for help with your asphalt paving project.