Safe roads in times of changing climate

The quality, stability and life span of road constructions are to a great extent dependent on the climate and the resulting groundwater and surface water conditions. High groundwater levels and insufficient drainage of the road body may cause damage to the road surface and shorten the life span of the road significantly. High water flows cause flooding and erosion. All these problems are escalating as the climate is changing towards higher precipitation in northern Europe and more extreme weather situations. It has already been seen by the EEA (European Environment Agency) that economic losses from extreme weather situations are on the increase. Calculations at the SGI (Swedish Geotechnical Institute) show that slopes that today have an acceptable safety factor of 1.3, with a 30 per cent increase in precipitation (which is the climate scenario for Sweden over a period of 50-100 years) may be unstable and cause landslides. These sections can be found along riverbanks, which is exactly where roads are situated. Three brief studies of the geotechnical consequences of erosion, stability and spread of pollutants indicate that the adaptation of the road network to a changing climate is one of the major challenges for the future. The results of these investigations are presented along with a discussion of the consequences for new and existing roads (A). For the covering abstract of the conference see ITRD E212343.

  • Authors:
    • LIND, B B
    • HULTEN, C
    • RANKKA, K
    • NILSSON, G
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01102645
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2008 8:12AM