To the majority of drivers, road construction is an annoying cause of traffic and delays. When we see the road construction sign, all we have are negative emotions. However, people never stop to think how much technology is invested in keeping the roads the way they are today.
Not many drivers realize that without the modern technologies, the number of construction-caused traffic jams would have been much higher. Meanwhile, the flat tires and accidents would become an everyday problem.
Numerous technologies are making our world better today. Some of them have improved the way roads are constructed. As a result, we can enjoy a lower fuel consumption rate, less frequent breakdowns, and higher speed limits.
Road construction experts from ABC paving company agreed to share several innovations in the road construction industry and highway engineering.
1. Laser Guidance
Today, the paving process is much shorter due to the laser guidance technology. The pavement equipment “knows” the ultimate way to plan the route in order to minimize the material use while maximizing the coverage area.
2. Road Surveying
The road surveying used to involve taking physical measurements and samples to ensure the quality of the road pavement. Today, all the testing can be done without closing the road off. The laser equipment is mounted on the surveying vehicle, which can proceed at traffic speed.
These technologies don’t just reduce the traffic, they allow in-depth road surveying, which in turn results in high-quality durable roads.
3. Portable Asphalt Batch Plants
In the past, asphalt had to be brought to the road construction site by trucks. One at a time, trucks arrived at the place where asphalt needed to be spread. This substantially slowed down the process, producing lengthy traffic jams.
Today, road construction workers use portable asphalt plants. They can be dismantled and moved along the construction site while producing asphalt. These small plants lead to considerable savings since the process requires fewer trucks and drivers. Even though the raw materials still need to be transported to the construction site, the costs are much lower.
4. Paving Machines
A paving machine does many different jobs. It distributes, shapes, and compresses the paving product while moving it down the road. The newest versions of such machines are self-propelled. The driver can sit in the air-conditioned cabin and control the paving equipment.
In the past, these machines had to be towed by large trucks thus increasing the cost of the process and slowing it down considerably.
5. Compacting Machines
When the asphalt is laid down, it requires compacting. Compacting is done by machines of different sizes. The smallest ones can work on the driveways and parking lots while the largest are needed for big highways.
The new compacting machines reduce the operator’s fatigue and increase safety. The modern technologies allow the improvement of compaction measurement in order to eliminate multiple passes.
6. Road Marking
The new paint technologies have revolutionized road marking. Certain types of paint can glow in the dark in order to make driving at night safer. Other paints have anti-slip properties to make driving safer when the roads are wet.
Modern technologies are making road construction faster, safer, and more cost-efficient. Meanwhile, roads are becoming smoother, more durable, and less congested.