The street in front of our home was resurfaced yesterday and watching the process over the last few days has acted as a fascinating reminder of how cool (or rather, how hot) the process really is. 

In the case of our street the old asphalt surface was first scraped and hauled away to a facility that will process it so that it can be used again (in the United States, almost 99% of the asphalt removed from road surfaces is reused). After that a thin layer of gravel was laid out to act as a fresh substrate. Finally, the new asphalt surface itself was spread out over the roadway by an asphaltic concrete laying machine: basically it's a mobile furnace that attaches to a dump truck so that a constant supply of asphalt and gravel mix can be heated and then laid out to create a new road surface.

For the record, this machine is so cool a version of it was featured in the first Cars movie and you can buy a die-cast toy of it so your kids can conduct infrastructure improvements of their own. 

All that is to say our street now has been completely resurfaced with a gloriously smooth asphalt finish.