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Assessing the environmental impacts of work zones in arterial improvement projects.
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  • Abstract:
    Preservation treatments help in extending the remaining service lives of pavements, but at the same time, they may have substantial environmental impacts due to the acquisition of raw materials, transportation of the extracted materials, manufacturing of the final product, and the use of various equipment during the treatment process. Traditional and accelerated maintenance, repair and rehabilitation (MRR) techniques were identified for both flexible and rigid pavements. Environmental impacts of the commonly used MRR strategies were calculated. A life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was used, taking into account the life extension of the pavement for each type of strategy. The scope boundary included only the construction activities relevant to pavement MRR. LCA results showed that for flexible pavements, accelerated rehabilitation techniques like partial or full depth reclamation have less life cycle environmental impacts than traditional techniques like milling and overlay or total reconstruction. For rigid pavements, all the rehabilitation techniques are comparatively new. The environmental impacts were found to be similar for both traditional techniques like concrete full depth repair and accelerated techniques like precast concrete pavement systems. Minor treatment processes for both flexible and rigid pavements like fog seal, crack seal, concrete seal joints, diamond grinding, and concrete partial depth repair have minimum impacts with maximum benefits when the corresponding life extensions are compared. The results obtained can assist highway construction management professionals to select environmentally sustainable MRR solutions.
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