Canadian Consulting Engineer

Detailed study finds concrete lasts longer for roads

An independent study released by the Cement Association of Canada and the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario compares the costs of concrete and asphalt pavements of equivalent design over their respective lifecycles. Intended as a...

February 22, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

An independent study released by the Cement Association of Canada and the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario compares the costs of concrete and asphalt pavements of equivalent design over their respective lifecycles. Intended as a resource for municipal engineers and roadway consulting engineers, the report, Methodology for the Development of Equivalent Pavement Design Matrix for Municipal Roadways, addresses both long and short-term cost efficiencies.

It was commissioned by the two associations and prepared by the international consulting firm Applied Research Associates (ARA).

The study finds a lifecycle cost advantage of concrete pavement. It provides the details behind the development of a comprehensive matrix of equivalent concrete and asphalt pavement designs for various traffic levels and subgrade strengths. It also identifies the anticipated maintenance required on the pavement structures over a 50 year period and the corresponding lifecycle cost.

“Municipalities across the province are always seeking ways to more efficiently manage their budgets and improve the performance of their roadways,” said RMCAO President John D. Hull. “We felt it was imperative to undertake this study so they could have a reference document that compares equivalent concrete and pavement designs for various traffic levels and soil conditions, and determines their lifecycle cost.”

The pavement designs presented in the study were developed using the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) software, a robust design procedure that takes detail traffic data, environmental data and material properties of the concrete, asphalt and base/subbase materials to evaluate the performance of identified asphalt and concrete structures over a 25 year design life.

Click here to see the study.


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