Concrete and Asphalt Paving for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities like hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and nursing homes have unique needs when it comes to their outdoor concrete and asphalt surfaces. These pavements must accommodate ambulances, wheelchairs, stretchers, rushing staff, and vulnerable patients on a 24/7 basis through all weather conditions. They also undergo heavy foot traffic and vehicle loads, leading to rapid deterioration if not properly maintained.

Proper paving and diligent upkeep of parking lots, sidewalks, ramps, and driveways are critical for keeping people safe and allowing efficient facility operations. By partnering with a qualified paving contractor, healthcare facilities can ensure they meet all ADA compliance standards while implementing durble, long-lasting pavement solutions.

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Unique Paving Needs for Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have vastly different requirements for their roads, parking areas, and walkways compared to most other properties. Their unique needs include:

Transporting vulnerable patients

Many people visiting healthcare facilities have limited mobility or existing injuries/conditions that could easily be aggravated by uneven terrain. Cracks, potholes, a lack of handrails, steep grades, and other deficiencies can further endanger their well-being.

Avoiding tripping hazards

Smooth, flat walkways and wheelchair ramps prevent trip-and-fall accidents among patients, many of whom have disabilities, mobility limitations like walkers/canes, or are attached to IV poles.

Accommodating ambulance traffic

Ambulances must be able to swiftly and safely transport patients through parking zone and up ramps or sidewalks during emergencies. Any obstructions or rough surfaces can delay critical treatment.

Heavy traffic volumes

The combination of visitors, staff, shipments, lab samples, vendors, ambulances, and more subjects pavements to near-constant traffic. Without diligent upkeep, surfaces rapidly deteriorate.

Accessibility around-the-clock

Healthcare facilities operate 24/7, so there’s no opportunity to completely close off sections for maintenance. Careful project phasing is necessary.

In particular, ADA compliance should be a top priority for healthcare facilities, as any violations can spur injury lawsuits or land them with federal fines of $75,000 for first offenses and $150,000 for subsequent ones.

ADA Compliance is Critical

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets legal standards for the design and construction of accessibility features like sidewalks, parking spaces, ramps, and restrooms. All public facilities must comply, with requirements varying based on when construction or alterations occurred. Some major requirements related to outdoor concrete and asphalt include:

Sidewalk/ramp widths

At least 36 inches of smooth clearance. 60 inches allows two wheelchairs to pass.

Sidewalk slope

No more than 1:20 (5%) grade. 1:12 (8%) is only acceptable for very short distances.

Ramp slopes

1:12 (8%) is the max grade. No more than 30 feet between landings.

Parking spaces/access aisles

Access aisles must connect the parking space to the accessible route. Appropriate signage at each space is vital.

Qualified paving contractors

remain up-to-date on evolving ADA regulations so they can advise clients on compliance during projects. They also have the skills and equipment necessary to meet requisite grades and measurements. Attempting paving work without professional guidance risks very costly violations and legal consequences down the road.

Around-the-Clock Access is Necessary

While a retail store may schedule their parking lot repair during off hours, healthcare facilities almost always need to remain open to the public. This means paving contractors must implement careful traffic control plans and phase projects appropriately to avoid blocking critical access routes like:

Main entrances
Emergency department routes
Ambulance bays

Ideally, work should be structured to keep over 50% of parking available at any time. Detours, signage, cones, and flaggers may be deployed as well.

It’s also imperative that contractors **notify ambulance companies** of intended construction timelines and available pathways well in advance. Emergency vehicles cannot ever be impeded from swiftly reaching their destinations to transport patients in need of critical care.

Thoughtful project planning is crucial for zero disruption of operations at active healthcare facilities.

Developing an Optimal Paving Maintenance Plan

Merely patching isolated sections of cracked or crumbling pavement is not enough for healthcare facilities. They need comprehensive, proactive maintenance plans addressing current deficiencies while budgeting for future repairs and improvements. An effective plan entails:
Thorough inspections by qualified personnel
Correctly prioritizing needs
Implementing appropriate solutions
Ongoing quality control and updates
Such a strategy preserves critical assets in safe operating condition while preventing avoidable hazards.

Correctly Identifying Pavement Deficiencies

The first step in devising an appropriate paving maintenance scheme is performing detailed assessments of all roads, parking zones, sidewalks, courtyards, ramps, and pathways. Some key inspection areas include:

Visual examination

Photographing cracks, trip hazards, crumbling sections etc. Checking for proper grading.

Subgrade testing

Evaluating if supporting soil is stable and adequately draining.

Wear testing

Identifying high traffic areas exhibiting advanced deterioration.

Drainage evaluation

Assessing if areas prone to flooding/icing need remediation.

Repair history

Inspecting previous patches/sealants for failures indicating larger issues.
Armed with this data, facilities can better understand what types of solutions different areas will require while projecting future vulnerabilities.

Prioritizing Maintenance Needs

Every pavement deficiency poses some degree of potential hazard, but healthcare facilities need to triage issues based on severity and location. Some factors influencing priority include:
Higher Priority
  • Severe trip hazards
  • Gaps between sidewalk and building entrances
  • Ambulance routes
  • Main entrance areas
Lower Priority
  • Less utilized sections
  • Minimal cracking
  • Rear delivery zones

They must also set realistic budgets that won’t defer critical frontline repairs but still dedicates funds to lower-risk preventative maintenance. Consulting an experienced contractor helps establish appropriate budgets and timelines.

Implementing the Right Solutions

Choosing suitable pavement improvement methods for each deficiency is imperative – the wrong solutions waste money without resolving the core issues. Some commonHealthcare repair techniques include:

Crack sealing

Cleaning and injecting joints with sealant prevents water intrusion/freezing expansion in surface-level cracks.


Cutting out severely distressed sections entirely and replacing them with fresh asphalt or concrete prevents further deterioration.


Shielding asphalt from weathering and oxidation helps maintain integrity and flexibility in top layers.


Milling down badly damaged upper layers and applying new overlay bonds old and new for restored function.

Full reconstruction

If the base and subgrade fail completely, total removal and rebuilding may be required.

An experienced contractor like Buck Bros Paving and Concrete will have in-house project managers guiding appropriate application of the optimal methods for each deficiency.

Enhancing Safety Through Paving Best Practices

Beyond addressing deficiencies, certain best practice standards in layouts, markings, signage, lighting and material section also enhance safety for healthcare facilities.

Maximum Visibility for Vehicles and Pedestrians

Having clearly delineated markings and adequate visibility helps motorists, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles safely traverse healthcare facility grounds. Some key components include:

Reflective paints

Glass beads in the paints absorb and reflect light for high contrast striping without relying solely on the area lighting. White and yellow stand out best.

Durable crosswalk striping

Thermoplastic markings better withstand heavy traffic compared to standard paints without losing reflectivity quickly.

Adequate lighting

Pole lighting combined with pathway lighting provides essential nighttime visibility for pedestrians and drivers throughout parking areas, including pedestrian crossings.

Signage/directional arrows

Durable traffic control signage, including dedicated ambulance routes/parking, offers clear guidance to visitors.

Optimizing Parking Lot Layouts

A parking lot designed without careful consideration of traffic flows and access needs creates avoidable risks. Healthcare facilities should have layouts with:

Angled parking

Allows easier pull in/out while accommodating more spaces. Eliminates dangerous reverse exits.

Ample aisle widths

20-24 feet allows easy ambulance access between spaces while leaving room for passing.

Loading zone setbacks

30-50 feet from doors, with ideally covered walkways leading inside, protects entrances from ambulance exhaust and provides shelter to waiting patients.

Dedicated ambulance parking

Grouped spaces nearest entries complete with electrical vehicle charging access optimizes emergency response readiness.

Utilizing Durable Paving Materials

The right paving materials resist heavy traffic loads from vehicles like ambulances without premature deterioration issues arising. Two ideal options include:


Flexible overall, more traction than concrete, can patch easily. At high thickness, right aggregate mix, performs very well long-term.

Reinforced concrete

Added rebar/fiber mesh boosts strength, preventing cracks. Costs more upfront but sustains very heavy static loads like ambulances excellently over decades.

Asphalt overlays

also renew old concrete effectively to get more useful life. An experienced contractor like Buck Bros Paving and Concrete will advise on appropriate material selections given budget, existing infrastructure, traffic loads and other factors like deicing salt usage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should healthcare facilities resurface their parking lots?

Every 8-12 years is typical for healthcare/hospital parking lots and ambulance areas seeing daily traffic, deicers, weathering, and occasional minor repairs. Heavily used entry drives and ambulance lanes may need resurfacing every 5-7 years.

What paving solutions allow for construction without full closures of healthcare facilities?

Carefully phased mill and overlay projects only close small sections each night, permitting continued operations. Bonded concrete overlays can also be applied directly over severely deteriorated existing surfaces with minimal downtime.

How can you determine if pavement deficiencies meet ADA compliance thresholds?

An expert contractor will know all the ADA guidelines for slopes, widths, signage etc. They can assess if cracks, gaps between slabs, crumbling areas and more exceed regulatory limits and require priority repairs.

Should ambulances have dedicated lanes through hospital parking lots?

Yes, dedicated ambulance lanes with marked entry points from the street allow rapid, unimpeded access directly to ER bays for critical patients. Some facilities even provide covered drives. Separate ambulance parking groups spaces together too.

Call to Action

Keeping outdoor concrete and asphalt surfaces smooth, safe, and accessible year-round is crucial for healthcare facilities and staff focused on patient care. By partnering with professional paving experts respected across your region, you can ensure proper ADA compliance, safety, visibility, durability and maintenance for decades of reliable operation.

For a free consultation on optimizing the safety and accessibility of your healthcare facility’s vital pavement infrastructure, contact the experts at Buck Bros Paving and Concrete today at (419) 536-7325. Our bonds and insurance protect your interests while our specialized skills, equipment, and diligent crews implement proven concrete and asphalt solutions exceeding healthcare needs.

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