As construction costs continue to rise and adequate amounts of funding continues to be a challenge, the allocation of resources is of critical importance when it comes to the maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) of highway infrastructure. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is presented here that integrates realistic traffic conditions in the operational phase to compare M&R scenarios over the analysis period of a 26-km stretch of Interstate-495. Pavement International Roughness Index (IRI) were determined using American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) PavementME System. Meanwhile, vehicle fuel consumption and emission factors were calculated using a combination of Google Maps®
, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator, the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study, and MassDOT’s Transportation Data Management System. The evaluation of pavement performance with realistic traffic conditions, varying M&R strategies, and material characteristics was quantified in terms of Life Cycle Cost (LCC), Global Warming Potential (GWP), and Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) for both agencies and users. The inclusion of realistic traffic conditions into the use phase of the LCA resulted in a 6.4% increase in CED and GWP when compared to baseline conditions simulated for a week long operation duration. Results from this study show that optimization of M&R type, material selection, and timing may lead to a 2.72% decrease in operations cost and 47.6% decrease in construction and maintenance costs.
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