The City of St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) has a unique climate, with excessive precipitation year-round, moderate summers and extreme winters. The pavement foundation (subgrade) in this region consists mainly of strong metamorphic rocks. As the city is located on an island and has a small population size, roads of this city experience very low volume of heavy traffic. Despite having less traffic and strong foundation, most of the roads in St. John’s suffer from serious structural and functional distresses. The distresses include but are not limited to deformation (structural, abrasion), moisture damages (pothole, ravelling), fatigue cracking (top down, bottom up), thermal cracking (longitudinal, transverse) etc. These distresses eventually lead to longer travel times, higher vehicular and pedestrian crashes and fatalities, excessive fuel consumption due to additional maneuvering actions as a result of poor road conditions, high CO2 emissions and a substandard ride quality. To address these issues, a comprehensive understanding of these distresses under local conditions is necessary. As an initial effort, a small-scale field survey was conducted and the distresses were classified and ranked based on type and severity. In addition, summary of each distress mechanism has been presented, followed by some recommendations to mitigate and address these distresses in this region. It is expected that this study will not only contribute in enhancing the pavement service-life by developing an improved asphalt mixture design in future but also reduce deleterious emissions and improve traffic safety.
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