Decision to Paving Solutions in Road Infrastructures Based on Life-Cycle Assessment

Maria de Lurdes Antunes, Vânia Marecos, José Neves, João Morgado


The construction and maintenance of a road network involve the expenditure of large budgets. In order to optimize the investments in road infrastructures, designers and decision makers should have the instruments to make the most suitable decision of paving solutions for each particular situation. The life-cycle assessment is an important tool of different road pavement solutions with this purpose. This paper presents a study concerning the life-cycle cost analysis of different flexible and semi-rigid paving alternatives, with the objective to contribute for a better support in the decision process when designing new pavement structures. The analysis was carried out using data on construction costs of certain typical pavement structures and taking into consideration appropriate performance models for each type of structure being selected. The models were calibrated using results from long term performance studies across Europe and the maintenance strategies considered have taken into account the current practice also found in the European context. Besides the life-cycle administration costs, the proposed methodology also deals with user and environmental costs through its inclusion in the decision process using multi-criteria analysis. It was demonstrated that this methodology could be a simple and useful tool in order to achieve the most adequate paving solutions of a road network, in terms of construction and maintenance activities, based simultaneously on technical, economic and environmental criteria.


cost; construction; distress; life-cycle; maintenance; pavement; road.

Full Text:



ACPA. 2002. Life Cycle Cost Analysis: A Guide for Comparing Alternate Pavement Designs. Engineering Bulletin. Illinois: American Concrete Pavement Association.

Antunes, M. L. 2005. Monitoring the Behaviour of Experimental Sections of the Portuguese Main Road Network (since 1992 to 1999). Report No. 165/05 NIT. LNEC. Lisbon (in Portuguese).

Antunes, M. L.; Marecos, V.; Neves, J.; Morgado, J. 2008. Economical Evaluation of Different Paving Solutions through the Life-cycle Assessment of Road Infrastructures. Report No. 37/2009 NIRA. LIsbon: LNEC (in Portuguese).

Carlson, A. 2011. Life Cycle Assessment of Roads and Pavements – Studies Made in Europe. VTI Rapport 736. The Swedish Transport Administration.

Chenevière, P.; Ramdas, V. 2006. Cost Benefit Analysis Aspects Related to Long-life Pavements, International Journal of Pavement Engineering 7(2): 145–152.

COST. 1999. Cost Action 333. Development of a New Bituminous Pavement Design Method. Final Report of the Action. European Commission. Directorate General Transport. Brussels.

COST. 2003. Cost Action 343. Reduction in Road Closures by Improved Pavement Maintenance Procedures. Final Report of the Action. European Commission. Directorate General Transport. Brussels.

Ferreira, A.; Santos, J. 2013. Life-cycle Cost Analysis System for Pavement Management at Project Level: Sensitivity Analysis to the Discount Rate, International Journal of Pavement Engineering 14(7): 655–673.

Gschösser, F.; Wallbaum, H.; Boesch, M. 2012. Life-Cycle Assessment of the Production of Swiss Road Materials, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 24(2): 168–176.

Haas, R.; Hudson, W. R.; Zaniewski, J. 1994. Modern Pavement Management. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company. 583 p.

Hall, K. T.; Correa, C. E.; Carpenter, S. H.; Elliot, R. P. 2003. Guidelines for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis of Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies, in Proc. of the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

JAE. 1995. Portuguese Pavement Design Catalogue. Junta Autónoma de Estradas (in Portuguese).

Mack, J. W. 2012. Accounting for Material-Specific Inflation Rates in Life-Cycle Cost Analysis for Pavement Type Selection, Transportation Research Record 2304: 86‒96.

Mandapaka, V.; Basheer, I.; Sahasi, K.; Ullidtz, P.; Harvey, J.; Sivaneswaran, N. 2012. Mechanistic-Empirical and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis for Optimizing Flexible Pavement Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Journal of Transportation Engineering 138(5): 625–633.

Merrill, D.; Van Dommelen, A.; Gáspár, L. 2006. A Review of Practical Experience Throughout Europe on Deterioration in Fully-Flexible and Semi-Rigid Long-Life Pavements, International Journal of Pavement Engineering 7(2): 101–109.

NCHRP. 2004. Guide for Mechanistic-Empirical Design of New and Rehabilitated Pavement Structures. Final Report. Washington, D.C.: Project NCHRP 1-37A.

Pittenger, D.; Gransberg, D. D.; Zaman, M.; Riemer, C. 2012. Stochastic Life-Cycle Cost Analysis for Pavement Preservation Treatments, Transportation Research Record 2292: 45–51.

Quaresma, L.; Pinelo, A.; Fonseca, E. 2000. Performance of Road Trials to Prevent Reflective Cracking, in Proc. of the 4th International RILEM Conference on Reflective Cracking in Pavements – Research in Practice, 26–30 March 2000, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Shukla, P. K.; Das, A. 2008. A Re-Visit to the Development of Fatigue and Rutting Equations Used for Asphalt Pavement Design, International Journal of Pavement Engineering 9(5): 355–364.

Sivilevičius, H.; Vansauskas, V. 2013. Research and Evaluation of Ruts in the Asphalt Pavement on Lithuanian Highways, Journal of Civil Engineering and Management 19(5): 609–621.

Sweere, G. T. H.; Dohmen, L. J. M.; Jamsa, H.; Potter, J. F. 1998. PARIS – Performance Analysis of Road Infrastructure. Final Report. European Commission.

Sweere, G. T. H.; Dohmen, L. J. M.; Jamsa, H.; Spoof, H.; Potter, J. F. 1997. PARIS: A Collaborative European Approach to Pavement Performance Measurement and Analysis, in Proc. of the 8th International Conference on Asphalt Pavements. Vol. 3. 10–14 August 1997, Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, 109–126.

Turtschy, J. C.; Sweere, G. 1999. Long Term Pavement Performance Modeling Based on Accelerated Pavement Testing, in Proc. of the 1st International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing, 18–20 October 1999, Reno, Nevada.

Valadares Tavares, L.; Oliveira, R.; Themido, I.; Nunes Correia, F. 1996. Investigação Operacional. McGraw Hill (in Portuguese).

Yang, J.; Lu, H.; Zhu, H. 2009. Approaches to Rut Depth Prediction in Semirigid Asphalt Pavements, Journal of Engineering Mechanics ASCE 135(6): 510–516.

Yu, B.; Gu, X.; Ni, F.; Guo, R. 2015. Multi-Objective Optimization for Asphalt Pavement Maintenance Plans at Project Level: Integrating Performance, Cost and Environment, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 41: 64–74.

Walls, J.; Smith, M. 1998. Life-Cycle Cost Analysis in Pavement Design – in Search of Better Investment Decisions. Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation. Publication No. FHWA-SA-98-079.

DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2016.05


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) Press Technika