Ultimately, the excavation stage of the driveway project will depend upon the type of existing soil.  An experienced company will then typically allow the base to settle. Once that is done then it is a matter of compacting the underlying base with a heavy roller drum.  Once completed the asphalt is ready to install.  Best of all, a new asphalt driveway can be walked upon almost immediately.  However, with that said, it is important to avoid driving on a new driveway for at least 24 hours.