PrThe asphalt paving industry is the industry segment that builds the world’s asphalt motorways, highways, streets, airport runways, parking areas, driveways, footpaths and cycle paths, and sport and play areas. In order to avoid confusion, the term “asphalt” as used in this document is in accord with European convention and refers to a mixture of bitumen and mineral aggregate designed for specific paving applications. By far, the predominant use of bitumen globally is asphalt paving, which consumes more than 85 percent of bitumen produced worldwide. Asphalt plays a vital role in global transportation infrastructure and drives economic growth and social well-being in developed as well as developing countries (Mangum, 2006).
Public investment in highway, street, and bridge construction in Europe totals about €80 billion ($110 billion U.S.) per year. In the U.S., public investment is around €55 billion ($80 billion U.S.) per year. These numbers do not include private-sector investments in streets, parking facilities, or commercial and residential facilities, and other transportation-related structures.
Because of the importance of the infrastructure and the need to ensure the quality and durability of the paved facilities, the industry, in every country, must provide materials and apply production methods which result in an end-product acceptable according to the high standards set by owner agencies.