Pavement vehicle interaction (PVI) is one of the significant components in the use phase of pavement life cycle assessment. This component has attribution with excess fuel consumption, resulting in an increase in the global warming potential (GWP). Several research have been conducted to model and quantify the PVI effect based on pavement roughness and deflection. These models estimate excess fuel consumption considering traffic loading, engineering properties of pavement materials and pavement design specifications. However, a big question remains unanswered: how do various climatic parameters including precipitation, temperature, and freezing index influence the PVI and subsequent GWP? Canada is the second largest country in the world and different climate regions can be found in each of its ten provinces and three territories. Therefore, a new, climate-based clustering approach—rather than geometric boundaries is introduced for climate impact analysis from road system. Twenty-two LTPP road sections located in the Canadian highways have been selected for this study. These road sections were clustered based on homogenous climate conditions, using a statistical approach. The research finds that a combination of high precipitation, freezing index and medium temperature are associated with an accelerated rate of International Roughness Index (IRI) and consequent GWP because of a high PVI for poor pavement surface. GWP for roughness is found to be very low where high temperature and a low freezing index exist. Very high traffic loading and low subgrade stiffness, when combined, produced the highest GWP emissions. It was also found that the PVI effect in terms of GWP for both roughness and deflection is always dominant for heavy vehicles over light vehicles traffic.
Contributors: Alam R, Hossain K, Bazan C.