Asphalt was used during construction of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
The Bay Bridge, which carries more vehicular traffic than any other bridge in California, connects San Francisco and Oakland and spans San Francisco Bay, one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of California.
The asphalt industry has played an important role in the growth and development of California, from the discovery of the La Brea Tar Pits by native peoples who valued its waterproofing capabilities, to the construction of modern roads and highways utilizing recycled materials manufactured to exacting specifications and the strictest environmental and health standards in the nation. A typical asphalt pavement is 95 percent crushed rock and sand, and about 5 percent liquid asphalt "binder" and other additives. Asphalt covers about 95 percent of paved surfaces in California because it is smooth, quiet, durable, safe and 100 percent recyclable. Asphalt achieves many environmental and sustainability goals for the Golden State. Asphalt is the world's most recycled product, and millions of waste tires in California are diverted from landfills for use in asphalt pavements. By one measure, the production of asphalt has increased nationwide by approximately 250 percent over the past 40 years yet emissions have been reduced by about 97 percent. An independent panel of state scientists (the Carcinogen Identification Committee of the State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) in 2017 reviewed all relevant health and safety information related to asphalt and deemed it a "low priority" for further study. Asphalt plants are closely regulated by federal and state air- and water-quality authorities, under the watchful eye of elected officials and community organizations, and are operated under strict state and local occupational safety and health standards.
Contact CalAPA at (916) 791-5044 for additional information about asphalt pavements and the environment.