Optimal Cracking Threshold Resurfacing Policies in Asphalt Pavement Management to Minimize Costs and Emissions

Author: Timothy Brathwaite, UC Berkeley

Summary: 

There is an increasing need for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting

from pavement maintenance activities, which account for millions of tons of GHG emissions

annually. By optimizing pavement resurfacing activities, there is potential for reducing

the carbon footprint associated with pavements and users of pavements. We propose a

framework for estimating the relationship between GHG emissions from pavement resurfacing

activities and pavement cracking-threshold policies. Cracking threshold is defined herein

as the maximum percent cracking level a pavement is allowed to reach before an asphalt

overlay is applied. In this framework, a probabilistic model capable of predicting both crack

initiation and progression over time for individual pavement segments is formulated. The

model is applied to a population of pavement segments and, given a cracking-threshold value,

can predict the amount of GHG emissions and costs incurred due to resurfacing activities

over a specified planning horizon. The model also predicts the corresponding user costs

and emissions. In order to obtain the relationship between cracking threshold and GHG

emissions, the cracking threshold is varied within a practical range of values. We obtain

the corresponding resurfacing interval from which GHG emissions values are computed.

The dataset used in the case study is obtained from the Washington State Department of

Transportation (WSDOT) in the United States. The results show that the optimal cracking

thresholds for minimizing costs and GHG emissions are close to each other, and are both

higher than those used currently by WSDOT.

 

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Optimal Cracking Threshold Resurfacing Policies in Asphalt Pavement Management to Minimize Costs and Emissions