Climate Change Implications for Flexible Pavement Design and Performance in Southern Canada

Two types of analysis were conducted to examine the impacts of midcentury scenarios of anthropogenic climate change on flexible pavement infrastructure in southern Canada. An analysis of deterioration-relevant climate indicators at 17 southern Canadian sites revealed that over the next 50 years low temperature cracking will become less problematic, structures will freeze later and thaw earlier with correspondingly shorter freeze season lengths, and higher extreme in-service pavement temperatures will raise the potential for rutting. Pavement performance simulations conducted using the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide and data from the Canadian long term pavement performance program for six of these sites also suggest that rutting issues will be exacerbated by climate change and that maintenance, rehabilitation, or reconstruction will be required earlier in the design life. While the simulated effect of climate change was found to be modest, both in absolute terms and relative to variability in pavement structure and baseline traffic loads, pavement engineers would benefit by incorporating longer time series of weather and climate in their designs. Although the analysis was conducted for southern Canada, many of the findings and impacts may be similar for the northern United States.


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  • Accession Number: 01141736
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 12 2009 11:15PM