Evaluating the effects of climate change on road maintenance intervention strategies and Life-Cycle Costs
Qiao, Yaning and Dawson, Andrew and Parry, Tony and Flintsch, Gerardo W. (2015) Evaluating the effects of climate change on road maintenance intervention strategies and Life-Cycle Costs. Transportation Research: Part D, 41 . pp. 492-503. ISSN 1361-9209
Climate change has the potential to impact long-term road pavement performance. Consequently, to maintain pavements within the same ranges of serviceability as before, current pavement maintenance strategies need to be re assessed and, if necessary, changed. Changes in maintenance may lead to different agency costs and user costs as a consequence. This paper commences by defining an assessment procedure, showing how maintenance intervention strategies and Life-Cycle Costs (LCC) may be affected by future climate. A typical Virginia flexible pavement structure and anticipated climate change was used as an example. This example is believed to be representative for a great number of localities in the United States. A method using historical climatic data and climate change projections to predict pavement performance using Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) under current or future climate was introduced. Based on pavement performance prediction, maintenance interventions were planned and optimized. The maintenance effects of three treatments (thin overlay, thin overlay with an intermediate layer, and mill & fill) were considered. A Life-Cycle Cost analysis is reported that used binary non-linear programming to minimize the costs (either agency costs or total costs) by optimizing intervention strategies in terms of type and application time. By these means, the differences in maintenance planning and LCC under current and future climate can be derived. It was found, that for this simplified case study, pavement maintenance and LCC may be affected by climate change Optimized maintenance may improve resilience to climate change in terms of intervention strategy and LCC, compared to responsive maintenance.
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