Environmental, Economic, and Social Implications of Highway Concrete Rehabilitation Alternatives
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© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. Currently, there is no comprehensive benchmark of life-cycle assessment for the rigid pavement alternatives for highway rehabilitation. To fill this gap, the major objective of this study is to investigate the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the three most widely adopted rigid pavement choices through a life-cycle assessment approach with custom-built economic input-output life-cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) models. Quantity takeoffs were performed for each alternative assuming a 1-lane-km highway rehabilitation. Subsequently, the construction costs of each alternative were computed in order to determine the present values for a life span of 50 years, while at the same time accounting for a different life expectancy for each pavement rehabilitation strategy. The present values were then incorporated into a corresponding EIO-LCA model. The results clearly indicate that continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) is the most sustainable choice and much preferable to the other alternatives for minimizing negative environmental, economic and social impacts from the life-cycle perspective. This finding champions a wider adoption of CRCP for future sustainable transportation infrastructure development projects, as CRCP's relatively high initial construction cost can be recouped by long-term sustained benefits. The results and findings of this study can serve as a solid foundation for industry practitioners and decision-makers to make better-informed project decisions when choosing the most sustainable pavement alternatives from a life-cycle perspective.
author list (cited authors)
Choi, K., Lee, H. W., Mao, Z., Lavy, S., & Ryoo, B. Y.