Determining Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (1990-2010) due to Pavement Technology

This research quantifies the changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption from WSDOT between 1990 and 2010 associated with (1) using warm mix asphalt (WMA), reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), fly ash and slag in pavement materials, (2) use of the dowel bar retrofit (DBR) as a portland cement concrete pavement (PCCP) rehabilitation practice, (3) improvements in WSDOT pavement network roughness, and (4) adoption of a long-life asphalt concrete pavement (ACP) strategy. Findings show:

• Use of WMA, RAP, fly ash and slag can result in GHG emissions and energy consumption savings of 4-44% depending upon the scenario.
• DBR use can save on the order of 15% in GHG emissions and energy consumption if it extends the life of existing PCCP by 15 years.
• WSDOT’s overall pavement network has actually gotten rougher from 1990 to 2010; therefore no savings associated with GHG emissions or energy consumption has been realized. Reducing WSDOT pavement network roughness as a means to reduce GHG emissions may cost on the order of $44/MTCO2e, which is quite expensive by any measure.
• There is no discernible trend towards long-life asphalt ACP from 1990 to 2010. Therefore, no savings associated with GHG emissions or energy consumption can be identified.
In context with the GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with WSDOT fleet operations and vehicles driving on WSDOT pavement, total savings is on the order of 0.2-0.3%.
Publication Date: 
Friday, January 16, 2015
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 838.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:41
Stephen T. Muench, Eva Martinez Caraballo, Yen Yu Lin.
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Number of Pages: 
Alternatives analysis, Paving, Greenhouse gases, Pollutants, Warm mix paving mixtures, Reclaimed asphalt pavements, Fly ash, Slag, Dowel bar retrofit, Roughness, Asphalt concrete pavements, Rehabilitation (Maintenance), Energy consumption, Improvements.