The Implications of Climate Change on Pavement Performance and Design

Current highways are designed based on typical historic climatic patterns, reflecting local climate and incorporating assumptions about a reasonable range of temperatures and precipitation levels. Given anticipated climate changes and the inherent uncertainty associated with such changes, a pavement could be subjected to very different climatic conditions over the design life and might be inadequate to withstand future climate forces that impose stresses beyond environmental factors currently considered in the design process. Our objective of this research is to explore the impacts of potential climate change and its uncertainty on pavement performance deterioration and therefore pavement design, which includes the following subobjectives: 1. Catalog climatic factors that affect pavement performance. 2. Review of pavement design practices and engineering models used to assess and predict pavement performance and deteriorations revealed to climate change. 3. Explore uncertainties of climate change and understanding how the frequency, severity and duration of these conditions change. 4.Simulate pavement performance deterioration over time for a selection of sites with various traffic levels, environmental factors and pavement structures. 5. Perform analysis to assess the statistical significance of climate change pavement performance. 6. Conduct risk analysis to assess the statistical significance of climate change pavement performance. 7. Develop guidance on when and how to integrate climate change into pavement design as an adaption strategy. Expected products include a literature review, documentation of the climate change uncertainties, simulation of pavement deterioration over time, statistical analysis and risk analysis of the results, outline of guidelines and next steps, and a final report.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:

      DTRT06 G 0026

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Stearns, Amy

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Delaware, Newark

      Department of Civil Engineering
      301 DuPont Hall
      Newark, DE  United States  19716
    • Principal Investigators:

      McNeil, Sue

    • Start Date: 20100901
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20110830
    • Source Data: RiP Project 26893

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01461324
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Delaware Center for Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT06 G 0026
    • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:43PM