Video Shows How Highways Were Paved in the 1940s

via YouTube

via YouTube

As America’s infrastructure is continually described as “crumbling,”  I thought it would be a good time to take a look back to how highways were paved around 70 years ago.  A lot has changed in the past seven decades, but you might be surprised by how similar paving still is.

In the video below, uploaded to YouTube by “US Auto Industry” and titled “Building a Highway (1948),” you’ll see the complete steps to paving a US highway with concrete.  Depending on your geographic location, concrete may or may not be more prevalent on your local highways than asphalt.

The general process of building a highway hasn’t changed very much over the past 70 years. It all starts with surveying, then rough grading, followed by finish grading, and pavement.  The machines look generally the same, albeit they’re in color now and also vastly more complicated with electronics and other technologies built in.

This is also only one example of a highway in the 40s, but the biggest differences that were evident were the lack of a stone base underneath the pavement, smaller gauge steel reinforcement, and much greater on-site material mixing.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think!