Strip Sealing and Ultra-High-Pressure Watercutting Technique for Restoring Skid Resistance on Low-Volume Roads: Life-Cycle Cost Comparison

Low-volume roads require cost-effective maintenance methods to minimize the amount of money spent on them while maximizing the engineering properties required to furnish the required levels of service. Skid resistance is an engineering property that is important for any road. Because chip sealing is a tried-and-true pavement preservation method, it often is used as the primary maintenance treatment of these roads. Unfortunately, chip seals are prone to flushing in the wheelpaths, which creates a loss of skid resistance. The economics of replacing strip sealing using conventional chip seal in the wheelpaths with the ultra-high-pressure watercutter used in New Zealand are explored. An economic analysis of typical low-volume roads on the basis of case studies found in Texas is conducted to determine the life-cycle costs of using both options on each case study project. The study applies the FHWA pavement life-cycle cost methodology, and the results are reported on a net-present-value basis to permit assessment of both methodologies. The analysis is conducted on two levels. First, a traditional deterministic life-cycle cost analysis is performed, and that is followed by a stochastic analysis of life-cycle cost using a Monte Carlo simulation. It is concluded that the watercutter is an economically viable alternative to strip sealing with the benefit of restoring the macrotexture without exacerbating the condition that caused the loss of skid resistance in the first place. It also allows the desired engineering objective to be achieved without additional consumption of asphalt binder or aggregate, thus making an environmentally sustainable alternative as well.


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  • Accession Number: 01050905
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104647
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2007 12:50PM