Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment of Pavement Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation Activities

Preservation treatments help in extending the remaining service life of pavements, but at the same time, they may have considerable environmental impacts due to the acquisition of raw materials, transportation of the processed materials from extraction to production site, manufacturing of the final product, and the use of various equipment during the treatment process. Traditional and accelerated maintenance, repair and rehabilitation (MRR) techniques were identified for both flexible and rigid pavements. Environmental impacts of the commonly used MRR strategies were calculated in amounts of greenhouse gases emitted, energy consumed and resources used. A life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was used, taking into account the life extension of the pavement for each type of strategy. LCA results showed that for flexible pavements, accelerated rehabilitation techniques like partial or full depth reclamation have less life cycle environmental impacts than traditional techniques like milling and overlay or total reconstruction. For rigid pavements, all the rehabilitation techniques are comparatively new. The environmental impacts were found to be similar for both traditional techniques like concrete full depth repair and accelerated techniques like precast concrete pavement systems. Minor treatment processes for both flexible and rigid pavements like fog seal, crack seal, concrete seal joints, diamond grinding, and concrete partial depth repair have minimum impacts with maximum benefits when the corresponding life extensions are compared. Overall results showed that traditional asphalt pavement MRRs have considerably higher environmental impacts than rigid pavement MRRs. The results obtained can assist highway construction management professionals to select environmentally sustainable MRR solutions.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADC60 Waste Management and Resource Efficiency in Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Salem, Ossama (Sam)
    • Ghorai, Sudipta
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2015


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01554207
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-4260
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 30 2014 1:23PM