Choosing a material is a matter of economics that considers life span, maintenance requirements, and road closure time.
As Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz were developing their early auto designs in the late nineteenth century, engineers struggled to build roads that could accommodate the carriages and cars of a mobile society. The existing network of crude dirt and stone paths was notorious for snapping axles and swallowing cars in thick mud. In America, engineers explored bricks, wood planks, and metal rails before settling on pavement.
Photo Gallery: Asphalt vs Concrete - Great Rivalries - Automobile Magazine
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