An independent study prepared by consulting firm Applied Research Associates Inc. concludes that concrete pavement has a lower life-cycle cost than asphalt. Methodology for the Development of Equivalent Pavement Design Matrix for Municipal Roadways compares both the long- and short-term costs of concrete and asphalt pavements of equivalent design over their respective lifecycles. Intended as a resource for municipal and roadway consulting engineers, the study was commissioned by the Cement Association of Canada and the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario. Download it at www.cement.ca and www.rmcao.org.
On the sustainable side of the coin, the Asphalt Pavement Alliance has published a new white paper, Carbon Footprint: How Does Asphalt Stack Up? After analyzing the environmental impacts during initial construction and a 50-year life cycle, the paper concludes that carbon footprints of the asphalt pavements were less than 30% of equivalent Portland cement concrete pavements. “Not only do conventional asphalt pavements have a lower life-cycle carbon footprint compared to concrete pavements, but a perpetual asphalt pavement — one that's designed for longer life — has a carbon footprint that's even lower,” says Dr. Howard Marks of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, an author of the report. For a free download, visit www.asphaltroads.org.