Life Cycle of Asphalt
Well-designed and well-built asphalt roads will last about 25 years. However, no matter how good a road is constructed, the asphalt will begin to deteriorate almost immediately. Over time the materials that make up asphalt begin to break down and become affected by elements such as rain, sunlight and chemicals that come into contact with the pavement surface. Roads that experience high volume of vehicle traffic will deteriorate at a faster rate than roads less traveled.
How We Measure the Quality of a Road
The overall quality and condition of a road is measured using the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). PCI is a numerical index between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the best possible condition and 0 representing the worst possible condition. Pavement features such as the existence of cracking and potholes will impact the PCI classification. PCI is not a measure of drivability. Zero PCI does not necessarily mean that a road cannot be driven, but probably means it will be a very bumpy ride.