Effect of the future increases of precipitation on the long-term performance of roads

The long-term performance of the road network of the province of Quebec (Canada) is strongly influenced by climatic conditions (Dore and Zubeck, 2008). Amongst other factors, high levels of saturation in soils and pavement materials are an important cause of pavement deterioration. According to climate change scenarios established by Ouranos (2012), the South of Quebec will undergo a monthly precipitation increase between -0.1% and 8.45% for a future horizon from 2010 to 2039. The purpose of this project is to quantify the effect of these expected precipitation increases on the mechanical behavior of road structures, materials and soils. Based on data collected on instrumented road sections, a relationship between precipitations increase and saturation level of pavement layers is proposed. In order to determine the existing relationship between mechanical properties and moisture content, the resilient modulus and permanent deformation behaviors for various moisture contents and four different subgrade soils were determined using triaxial tests, the later being validated using a small-scale heavy vehicle simulator. Using the precipitation increase scenario and the relationship developed between precipitation and pavement layers moisture content in Quebec, a damage analysis is performed to quantify the decrease of pavements service life caused by climate change. It is found that climate change, and more precisely the increase of precipitations expected in the Province of Quebec, will have a significant impact on pavement performance and that adapted pavement structures and materials, such as improved drainage, increased structural capacity or materials with reduced sensitivity to water, are possible options to reduce the loss of pavement service life associated with climate change.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp 545-554
  • Monograph Title: Bearing capacity of roads, railways and airfields: proceedings of the ninth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields: Trondheim, Norway 25-27 June 2013. Vol 1-2

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596552
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9788232102853
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Apr 21 2016 12:28PM