A recent study on climate change effects on pavements demonstrates their interactive relationship – one affects the other and vice versa. The study examines the impacts of climate change on pavements and their implication in its construction and maintenance.
However, the study also recognises the transport sector’s significant GHG emissions from the quality of pavements(smooth roads reduces vehicle emissions), materials used in construction and the type of maintenance or rehabilitation applied depending on the pavement’s condition.
Climatic stressors like temperatures, precipitation and groundwater, freeze-thaw cycles, cloud cover, and wind speeds can cause rapid deterioration on pavements and responses to these can either increase or decrease GHG emissions depending on the choice of maintenance, and materials used for construction.
The study says that current pavement construction and maintenance can be adapted to future climate and made resilient to more extreme natural events. Climate adaptation on pavements should focus on enhancing road durability and improve service doing these can help reduce emissions and mitigate climate change. However, this can raise construction and maintenance costs which could affect your budget.
To reduce economic and environmental impacts of pavements construction and maintenance during its life cycle, the study recommends the integration of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) and LCA approach when selecting a climate adaptation and mitigation methods.
Combining both approaches will optimise pavement construction and maintenance targets and boost its durability and service quality while minimising the pavement’s emissions during its life cycle.
The study discussed topics on climate stressors and sensitivity of pavements to it, climate change impacts on pavements, and relationships between climate adaptation and mitigation on pavements for those who wanted to understand climate resilience of flexible pavements.
To read the entire study, click the link below:
Qiao, Y., Dawson, A. R., Parry, T., Flintsch, G., & Wang, W. (2020). Flexible Pavements and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Review and Implications. Sustainability, 12(3), 1057. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su12031057