Economic Comparison Between Concrete and Conventional Road Pavements in France

Paper by LAURENT from ISCR 9th 2004 Instanbul Turkey

A comparison of "capital plus maintenance" costs has been made in France using the following methodology: - firstly, a comparison of sections of concrete pavement with conventionally constructed ones of the same age on the same stretch of road, - secondly, a statistical analysis of the performance of the different structures of pavement over 30 years. The economic study has been conducted on the basis of the price of pavements in the year 2000. The maintenance and associated costs were those actually observed on each route during a period of analysis covering 30 years. In the economic conditions of the year 2000, the capital cost of concrete slab pavements is greater, by the order of 6%, than pavements in cement-bound aggregate. But the capital plus maintenance cost is of the same order of magnitude for both types of pavement. For pavements in CRCP, built in 1985 on a privately-run motorway network, compared with those in asphalt, the difference between the two techniques is also slight. In conclusion, despite the uncertainties of long-term maintenance programmes and the unit prices of materials, the study has revealed two things: - the advantage of concrete slab structures laid in the 1970s compared with those made of granular material bound with cementitious binders - that pavements in CRCP are competitive with all-asphalt structures in the current economic context. If the price of bitumen rises, which is always possible, CRCP structures would then become more advantageous in the long term for the project owner.

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