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A Case Study on Sustainability Through the Application of the Principles of Pavement Management


Sustainable transportation often targets a shift in mode of transportation from cars to transit vehicles and increases in vehicle fuel efficiency. However, even where these shifts are successful, the transportation network generally remains the road network. This paper focuses on the sustainable preservation and maintenance of a road network through the application of the principles of pavement management. One of the key fundamentals of effective pavement management is that keeping roads in good condition through timely rehabilitation costs less than allowing roads to deteriorate to the condition where more robust treatments, such as partial or full depth reclamation or reconstruction, become necessary. These timely treatments, in addition to having lower capital costs, are also more sustainable in that they typically require less input of raw materials, less construction effort, and reduced duration of construction and associated user delay. The road network represents a major area of investment in transportation and one of the highest value assets in most municipalities. As the infrastructure ages and deteriorates, it is essential to preserve that investment, and to do so with good management of limited funds. In this case study, the City of Abbotsford’s pavement management system is used to demonstrate the use of pavement deterioration and maintenance cost forecasting models, which makes it possible to perform a complete life cycle cost analysis on pavements. There are usually many alternative feasible strategies for preserving a given pavement segment. Each alternative strategy can include one or more successive treatments. Each alternative strategy is also associated with different routine preservation and maintenance costs. All of the theoretically possible strategies are generated with analysis software and can then be optimized and prioritized under various budget scenarios. This allows for the rigorous economic justification of comprehensive programs that minimize the net present value costs and maintain pavement networks in a sustainable manner. Moreover, the City uses this system to arrive at network funding levels which are not only saving it citizens millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs but is also reducing the City’s GHG gasses. The study shows that not only do “Good Roads Cost Less” in terms of direct maintenance and rehabilitation cost, they also significantly reduce road user costs and overall Green House Gas emissions.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Gary St.Michel
Mo Mofrad
Tyler Bowie