Asphalt vs Rigid concrete


For some reason my car drives more smoothly over an older concrete surface than on a freshly paved asphalt road. For instance, there are vibrations/bumps that can only be felt when traveling on the rehabilitated sections of the interstate, rather than the worn down sections that you drive over and hear more road noise. Has anyone else noticed this?


Yes, I’ve noticed this also. Concrete is generally smoother than macadam, so I’m not surprised. But that smooth surface makes the tires “sing” a bit.


It depends on tires.


Bring back Uniroyal Zeta tires, unless they still make them. They were quiet.


Some of the roughest highways I’ve driven on were concrete. Any of you cross Louisiana on I-10?


The NYS thruway (I-90) was built origionally with Concrete. One for smoothness…and the other for strength. NYS received federal money in building the road because it was proposed that in a state of emergency it could be used as a landing strip. If we were ever attacked and our enemy (aka Soviet Union) took out our air bases it would be almost impossible for them to take out several hundred miles of road. So concrete was used in many sections (the flat long ones) in case it needed to be used or airplanes. And I HATED driving over those sections. Those damn expansion cracks would drive you nuts…every 1-2 seconds…BUMP…BUMP…BUMP. Finially in the 80’s the government felt that the NYS thruway no longer needed to be a backup runway…those concrete sections were paved over with tar…THANK GOD.


I remember those infernal thumps driving on Route 17 in NY. Drove me a little crazy at times. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)


Are you comparing concrete roads to asphalt roads or are you comparing concrete roads to asphalt patchwork? If you drive in Florida south of Daytona, you will find the smoothest asphalt roads around. If you live up north, it is another story.

Engineers are still making improvments to asphalt. So the asphalt roads in your area might be one of the older foamulas.


I avoided rt 17 like the plague. It’s much better now.


Engineers are still making improvments to asphalt. So the asphalt roads in your area might be one of the older foamulas.

Actually there’s a formula that is far superior to the asphalt used right now on most roads. It mixes in shredded tires that makes the asphalt far stronger and less prone to cracks or potholes. Not to mention that it will help clean up the BILLIONS of tires stockpiled around the country.

Some states have mandated it’s use.

The Asphalt industry is 100% against it’s use because of the loss of sales due to the new mix lasts so much longer.


That is actually the improvement to which I was referring. Last I heard it was still being tested in different climates.


And something like it peeled right off RT. 101 north of Santa Barbara. It had some kind of mesh under it. Everywhere I live, the roads are rubble.


What state rae you in? In NH everything is buckling and potholes are opening up everywhere due to the recent weather. And in some areas, like parts of RT 27 (the old route 101) where paving was many years ago laid over concrete, you can still get that “thump thump thump” that we remember because the concrete expansion joints crack the pavement. They expand and contract differently.