Considering Climate Change in Pavement Engineering – Some Analyses and Discussion
Climate scientists predict that the environmental factors that are relevant to pavement design, such as maximum air temperature, are likely to change as a result of climate change, and in many locations, multiple factors, such as temperature and precipitation, will worsen. For Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and other roadway agencies, this means that in the future, more frequent maintenance and/or rehabilitation work will be needed, unless the design and construction procedures are improved to make the pavements resistant or resilient to the deteriorated conditions and last through their design life. The situation is challenging because of three factors: 1. Climate change predictions have multiple ͞ pathways͟ and high variability which increases over time; 2. A constantly changing set of environmental factors and the occurrence of extreme events such as flooding cannot be accommodated into existing pavement design methodologies, and 3. Most agencies are suffering from a shortage of funds that are required for the additional work or more resistant pavements. In view of this situation, our work has focused on a four-element framework that is expected to contribute towards an engineering solution to this challenge. These four elements are as follows. 1. Consideration of the dynamic effects and variability of climate change, and associated risks; 2. Adoption of a simulation based approach; 3. Understanding of appropriate resiliency measures; and 4. Development of a strategy to maximize the use of the available limited resources. Work conducted on each of the above elements will be presented and discussed.
Refreshments start at 2:30
Talk is from 3pm-4pm