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Signs of Construction: Roadway Surfaces

Although the Aurora Line/I-225 Rail is a light rail project, there is a lot of street construction and paving that goes along with it. That's because the roads have to be reconfigured to make way for the rail line. There are two types of roadway surfaces: asphalt and concrete. The choice of which surface is used where is determined by type of travel it will carry and the location.
Asphalt (the picture on the left above) is often referred to as "black" paving. Asphalt is made of aggregate (rocks) and an oil binder. This mix is temperature dependent because of the oil that is used, so paving can only happen when the temperature is above 45 degrees. It is laid in two-inch lifts and usually a road will have three lifts in a total roadway surface. Asphalt is typically ready to be driven on 24 hours after being laid. Exposition Ave. is currently in the process of being asphalt paved.

Concrete (the picture on the left above), or "white" pavement, is used in areas with high heavy vehicle (buses/trucks) traffic, because it is stronger and more ridged, which prevents later maintenance. Concrete is made of water, cement and aggregate (rocks). It is usually poured in 12-feet wide sections to a depth of 10.5 inches. There are joints in the concrete to allow it to move with temperature changes. Concrete must be kept at 50 degrees, so it can be poured year round as long as the temperature is maintained. Unlike asphalt, concrete must cure before being driven on and the process can take anywhere between 7-28 days to cure. On the this project, you will see concrete streets on Fitzsimons Parkway, the Sand Creek parking lot, 17th Place and 17th Ave.
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