Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool that can be used to identify ways to decrease the environmental impact of a product or process and to inform decision makers of the consequences of changes to the product or process. LCA encompasses all aspects of a process or product from “cradle to grave”, including material extraction, transport, production, maintenance, and removal or recycling.
This study is a comparative LCA of three different replacement options for an aging Portland cement concrete (PCC) highway: Replacement with a new PCC pavement, replacement with hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavement, and cracking, seating and overlaying (CSOL) the existing pavement with HMA. Each LCA includes an appropriate maintenance schedule so that the pavements will have a 50 year life span and can be reasonably compared. The environmental impacts have been assessed according to common environmental concerns, such as global warming potential and acidification. This paper summarizes those impacts and provides information and recommendations to build “greener” highways in Washington State.
July 21, 2011
Craig D. Weiland, Stephen T. Muench.
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
- # of Pages: 105p., 1.21 mb (PDF)
- Subject: Life cycle analysis, Portland cement concrete, Interstate highways, Service life, Rehabilitation (Maintenance), Pavement maintenance, Highway maintenance, Alternatives analysis, Maintenance practices, Evaluation and assessment.
- Keywords: Life cycle assessment, environment, concrete, pavement, portland cement, hot mix asphalt, crack seat and overlay, life cycle inventory.
- Related Publications: Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Best Practices Summary Report (WA-RD 744.1)
A Brief History of Long-Life WSDOT Concrete Pavements (WA-RD 744.2)
Studded Tire Wear on Portland Cement Concrete Pavement in the Washington State Department of Transportation Route Network (WA-RD 744.3)
Effects of Loop Detector Installation on the Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Lifespan: Case Study on I-5 (WA-RD 744.5)
This abstract was last modified January 22, 2013