Performance and Cost-Effectiveness of Sustainable Technologies in Flexible Pavements Using the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide

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Past studies evaluated the mechanistic properties, economic benefits, and ecological impacts of sustainable asphalt mixtures. However, questions remain concerning the effects of these technologies on structural pavement design and performance. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of selected sustainable technologies [warm-mix asphalt (WMA), reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), crumb rubber modifier (CRM), and sulfur additive] on the performance predicted by the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) software and to assess the life-cycle costs (LCC) of pavement structures constructed with these sustainable alternatives. This study also determined if the MEPDG software is sensitive to variation in the mechanistic properties of asphalt mixtures containing selected sustainable technologies. Three typical pavement structures were analyzed at three traffic levels (low, medium, and high). On the basis of the results of this analysis, it was determined that the performance predicted by the MEPDG software was improved because of the use of sustainable mixtures. In addition, results indicated that sustainable technologies have the potential to reduce production and LCCs compared with conventional asphalt mixtures. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering

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