Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersHelping Build A Sustainable Future By Constructing Roadways with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement

Helping Build A Sustainable Future By Constructing Roadways with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement


Portland cement concrete pavement (PCCP) has long been known as a long lasting, durable pavement surface with low maintenance costs. Although Life Cycle Cost analysis components are being considered by some DOTs when tendering pavement construction jobs, sustainability issues are generally not considered as part of the analysis. Including the pavements sustainable performance, however, would provide government agencies with a better understanding of the true cost of the roadway structure. This paper will look at the sustainable performance characteristics of concrete pavement by examining and documenting some of its many social, economic and environmental advantages. Some of the social benefits of concrete pavement that are identified in this paper include: reduced potential for hydroplaning; good night time visibility; improved stopping distance and enhanced ride and comfort. Several environmental benefits of PCCP are examined and presented including: findings of the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute on the Life Cycle embodied Energy for concrete and asphalt roadways; findings of several studies on truck fuel savings from traveling on PCCP compared to asphalt concrete pavement (ACP) and the resulting reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG), as well as, and research on concrete pavement as a potential CO2 sink. The recyclable nature of PCCP will also be addressed including reuse of recycled PCCP as base material for a new pavement or aggregate for a new pavement. Typical PCCP structures will be presented to demonstrate the aggregate savings realized when utilizing PCCP pavement systems. Use of supplementary cementing materials (SCM) will also be discussed to show how industry by-products such as fly ash, blast furnace slag and silica fume can be used in the concrete to improve the PCCP performance characteristics and divert their disposal at landfill sites. Finally, economic benefits such as life cycle cost, two pavement system and potential for reduced lighting requirements for PCCP will be provided.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Smith, T
Active transportation, Mobility management