Urban highways users frequently face disruptions due to construction and maintenance of buried infrastructure. In conventional open cut construction, social costs (vehicle operating and traffic delay costs) are generally high at work zone construction areas (WZCA). Municipalities also bear additional costs due to early maintenance of alternate routes, i.e., non-work zone construction area (NWZCA). Besides, work zone and non-work zone areas together experience significant potential socio-economic and environment impacts. In addition to minimal disturbance to existing socioenvironmental setting and user cost savings, trenchless construction result in agency cost savings by avoiding early maintenance at NWZCA. Past studies primarily focused on social costs associated to WZCA. In present research, a sustainability assessment framework has been developed that includes agency and user costs at both the work zone and non-work zone area. The framework evaluates various traffic detoured scenarios (for open cut construction) and trenchless technology scenario based on all three dimensions of sustainability. Fuzzy Quality Function Deployment (Fuzzy QFD) method has been used to incorporate the interaction between the agency’s sustainability objectives and public expectations for large-sized pipeline construction projects in urban areas. The framework effectively handles the uncertainties associated to data limitations and vagueness in expert opinion for subjective assessment criteria. To evaluate the pragmatism of proposed framework, it was applied on the case of a storm sewer construction project in Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia. Trenchless technology was found to be the most sustainable construction scenario followed by the open cut scenario with 50% traffic detoured to NWCA. The proposed methodology is also sought to enhance decision making process pertaining to the viability of trenchless technologies in KSA and elsewhere.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited