Park, Hyunsoung (2014-12). Environmental, Economic, and Social Impacts of Concrete Pavement Material Choices: A Life-Cycle Assessment Approach. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Most of the transportation systems in the United States were constructed during construction booming periods between the 1950's and 1980's with the maximum 20-year serviceable life. For this reason, most of the built transportation infrastructure systems in the U.S. already exceeded their intended design life. However, these highways are still in service, and therefore, immediate reconstructions or rehabilitations are needed for public safety and economical health of nation. To assist State Transportation Agencies (STAs) in rendering better-informed decisions for the concrete pavement material choices, the major research objective is to analyze the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the four concrete pavement alternatives from the perspective of life-cycle assessment. This research analyzes the three different types of concrete alternatives such as Portland Cement Concrete (PCC), Fast Setting Hydraulic Cement Concrete (FSHCC) and Rapid Strength Concrete (RSC) with as well as without type III Portland cement by using the economic input-output life-cycle assessment (EIO-LCA). The quantity of each concrete was calculated based on a 1-lane kilometer of highway rehabilitation with the continuously reinforced concrete pavement rehabilitation strategy. The unit price of each concrete was converted from 2013 to 2002 because EIO-LCA used the 2002 data base. The results of this study revealed that PCC is the most sustainable highway alternative. The results champion the adoption of the PCC for sustainable pavement rehabilitation projects. Therefore, for the decision making in highway rehabilitation projects, STAs can choose the most sustainable pavement alternatives for their better decision-making.

publication date

  • December 2014