Despite the fact that it considers a design period of 20 years for flexible pavements, the Portuguese manual of pavement structures states the importance of making a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) for a period of no less than 40 years, called project analysis period, in order to compare different pavement solutions in terms of global costs for the final choice of the pavement structure for a national road or a highway. The problem is that until now this analysis has never been done in Portugal. This paper presents a new LCCA system based on an optimisation model considering pavement performance, called OPTIPAV, developed and programmed to help pavement designers to choose the best pavement structure for a road or a highway. The LCCA system considers the serviceability concept adopted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for use in the design of flexible pavements. The results obtained by the application of the new LCCA system clearly indicate that it is a valuable addition to the road engineer's toolbox.
- deterministic pavement performance models
- genetic algorithms
- life-cycle cost analysis
- optimisation models
- pavement design
- pavement maintenance and rehabilitation