A Fresh Look at Pavement Life Costs

Paper and Presentation by Justin Moss and Nicole Liang, A Fresh Look at Pavement Life Costs from ASCP 5th Concrete Pavements Conference 2019

Whole of life cycle costing of pavements has not been revisited for nearly 27 years since 1990 by the Bureau of Transport Economics (now BITRE). Previously, asphalt pavements were considered to have a lower cost of construction but required regular maintenance (every 5 to 10 years) whereas concrete pavements are presumed to require less maintenance (typically 10 to 20 years) and consequently, result in lower whole of life costs. However, with significant changes in the costs of bitumen and cement in the ensuing period, techniques of road construction and new pavement materials, the preconceptions of life cycle costs of asphalt and concrete pavements have likely changed considerably.

This paper will detail the findings from a study conducted by Arcadis which compared the life cycle costs of plain concrete pavement (PCP), asphalt over heavily bound (ACH), full depth asphalt (FDA) and full depth asphalt with EME2 (FDE) across a number of project specific scenarios, ultimately concluding by ranking best value pavement on the basis of Pavement Cost Index. This work was undertaken on behalf of Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) and independently verified by a panel including Aurecon.

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