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A comparative study of the emissions by road maintenance works and the disrupted traffic using life cycle assessment and micro-simulation

Lookup NU author(s): Roger Bird, Professor Margaret Carol Bell CBE


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Life cycle assessment is being accepted by the road industry to measure such key environmental impacts as the energy Consumption and carbon footprint of its materials and laying processes. Previous life cycle studies have indicated that the traffic vehicles account for the majority of fuel consumption and emissions from a road. Contractors and road agencies are looking for road maintenance works that have the least overall environmental impact considering both the roadwork itself and the disrupted traffic. We review life cycle assessment studies and describe the development of a model for pavement construction and maintenance, detailing the methodology and data sources. The model is applied to an asphalt pavement rehabilitation project in the UK, and the micro-simulation program VISSIM is used to model the traffic on that road section. The simulation results are fed into a traffic emissions model and emissions from the roadwork and the traffic are compared. The additional fuel consumption and emissions by the traffic during the roadwork are significant. This indicates that traffic management at road maintenance projects should be included in the life cycle assessment analysis of such work. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Huang Y, Bird R, Bell M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research. Part D: Transport & Environment

Year: 2009

Volume: 14

Issue: 3

Pages: 197-204

ISSN (print): 1361-9209

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2340

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2008.12.003


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