Research, Technology

Why are there no concrete roads in Russia, like in the USA and China?

Russian roads, for the most part, are veryBad quality. Of course, huge tracks are regularly repaired, but the coverage in small towns leaves much to be desired. At the same time, in other countries, roads are very smooth and potholes are extremely rare. And this despite the fact that the workers repair them only once every few years - some tracks are in excellent condition even 30 years after the completion of construction. So much of a difference has to do with the material that is used to build the road. In Russia, the well-known asphalt is used, you probably know this smell. But in the USA, China and a number of other countries, concrete, which has a much higher strength, is very popular. Why not use it in our country too? There are several reasons that hinder the laying of concrete roads.

Why are the roads so bad in Russia? Asphalt is to blame for everything, but this is the most suitable material.


  • 1 Which countries have concrete roads?
  • 2 Which is better: concrete or asphalt?
  • 3 Cost of asphalt and concrete
  • 4 Reasons for the lack of concrete roads in Russia
  • 5 things you definitely shouldn't build roads from

Which countries have concrete roads?

Many countries have already mastered the laying of concrete routesfor a long time. According to information from open sources, in the US, China and European countries, about 60% of public roads are concrete. At the same time, Russia has a maximum of 2.6% of roads covered with concrete - in our country, asphalt is at a premium.

Most of the roads in Russia are asphalt, but their quality suffers from time to time

Which is better: concrete or asphalt?

The rejection of concrete and the choice of asphalt seems verystrange decision. The fact is that the guaranteed service life of asphalt pavement is about 12 years, but it becomes unusable much earlier. As a result, road workers are constantly repairing different sections and some routes have to be blocked for a long time. Concrete pavement has a service life of about 25 years and is less likely to need repairs.

In general, concrete has the following advantages:

  • high strength;
  • wear resistance;
  • immunity to heat;
  • high environmental friendliness.

But asphalt is not so bad either, because it has the following advantages:

  • resistance to temperature extremes;
  • ease of installation;
  • cheapness of the material;
  • high maintainability;

Asphalt and concrete roads have their pros and cons. Moreover, the former are better suited for Russia, and the latter for the USA, China and Europe. Find out why below.

Concrete may seem like the best material for building roads, but it is not suitable for Russia

Cost of asphalt and concrete

You might think that there are no concrete roads in Russiadue to the fact that the cost of asphalt is much lower. On the Internet, you can find information that the construction of 1 kilometer of an asphalt road with four lanes costs an average of 75 million rubles. In the USA, the construction of the same road, but made of concrete, in terms of our money, costs about 270 million rubles. Concrete roads are more expensive, but they quickly pay for themselves due to the lack of need for repairs. And the Russian asphalt quickly collapses and repairs sometimes cost a lot of money. In general, asphalt roads sometimes cost more than concrete roads, so this is clearly not the main reason for the rejection of concrete.

Asphalt paving costs less, but such roads deteriorate faster


Reasons for the lack of concrete roads in Russia

The main reason that in Russia there are very fewconcrete roads is the instability of the material to temperature changes. The climate in our country is such that one day there can be a positive temperature, and by the evening of the next day terrible frosts set in. In some cases, the asphalt also does not withstand such a load, but it is at least easy to fix. And if a crack forms in the concrete pavement, you have to change the whole section of the road, and even a tiny mistake cannot be made - it can significantly spoil the quality of the pavement. Therefore, concrete roads in Russia are extremely rare.

Personally, such a road already seems natural to me, but to you?

The second reason for the lack of concrete roads in Russiais that their construction requires equipment, which is very scarce in our country. It is only available to a small number of contractors and is commonly used in the construction of aircraft runways. Considering this, as well as the long process of building concrete roads, it is unlikely that anyone will do this on routes between different cities. It is much easier to lay out a mountain of cement, go through the skating rink and repair the holes that appear from time to time.

Laying a concrete road requires a lot of money, time, workers and special equipment.

What exactly do not need to build roads

Asphalt and concrete are the most popularmaterials for the construction of roads - others, in fact, do not exist. Any attempt to cover the road with new material ends in failure. In 2016, the French company Colas built a road from ... solar panels to generate energy. So what? About 0.5% of the earth's cover is occupied by roads, and if energy is produced using them, many thermal power plants that harm nature can be turned off.

The world's first Wattway solar road

Want some terrible design? On our channel in Yandex.Zen there is an article about ugly cars, be sure to read it!

Solar panel road is namedWattway and stretched for as much as 1.6 kilometers in the French region of Normandy. Approximately $5.2 million was allocated for construction, but the road had to be demolished. It was expected that it would generate up to 150,000 kWh of electricity per year, but it turned out that every day the panels produce less and less energy. And all because of the frank stupidity of the creators.