Assessing the effects of unit cost uncertainty on flexible road pavement economics under the influence of climate change

Yaning Qiao*, Shuyue Zhang, Yaru Guo, Yaxin Wang, João Santos, Anne Stoner, Andrew Dawson, Tao Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Pavement researchers typically adopt life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to quantify changes in the economic performance of road pavements due to the effects of climate change. As uncertainty exists in the unit cost of materials, fuels, and machinery operation, the assessment of climate change-induced pavement costs invariably involves uncertainty. If such uncertainties remain unaddressed, the assessment of pavement costs will not be accurate. Therefore, this study develops a stochastic pavement LCCA framework to account for the effects of such uncertainties on climate change-induced pavement life cycle cost. This is achieved by integrating a sensitivity analysis methodology and Monte Carlo simulation. To demonstrate the applicability of the framework case studies are performed for standard interstate and standard primary road pavement sections in four climate zones in the United States under a high climate change Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP8.5) for four different periods between 1981 and 2100. The results show that pavement maintenance, end-of-life (EOL), and transportation costs are most affected by climate change. To assess climate change-induced pavement costs more accurately, it is important to improve the accuracy of gasoline, diesel, and hot mix asphalt (HMA) unit costs, as they are the most sensitive input to the pavement LCCA model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137597
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cleaner production
Volume414
Early online date27 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Pavement life cycle cost
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Uncertainty
  • n/a OA procedure

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