2017 - Australia - Effect of Climate Change on Road Infrastructure

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2017 - Australia - Effect of Climate Change on Road Infrastructure

There is an increasing evidence that the earth’s climate is changing with some of the changes attributable to transport infrastructure. Climate change can have impacts on road infrastructure. The direct impacts can be due to the effects of environment. Temperature can affect the aging of bitumen resulting in an increase in brittle failure of the surface seals that represent more than 90% of the rural sealed roads in Australia. Further, rainfall changes can alter moisture balances and influence pavement deterioration. Brittle failure of the bitumen causes the surface to crack, with a consequent loss of waterproofing of the surface seal. The result is that surface water will enter the pavement causing potholing and will cause rapid loss of surface condition. More frequent reseal treatments will overcome the problem, but this is at a higher cost to road agencies. Road infrastructure is a long-lived investment.  An understanding of the expected impacts of future climate change by road designers, asset managers and planners, could produce considerable cost savings in the long term. This research aims to provide an assessment of likely effects on climate change for South East Queensland region in the next 90 years, and further identify and assess the likely effects of climate change on road pavement. It can be concluded that, climate change in South East Queensland does play a role in lower deterioration rates. The findings suggest that decreasing rainfall (decreasing TMI) will slow flexible pavement deterioration. However, increases in temperature are likely to cause materials to expand to affect pavement deterioration rates.

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Created Date: 25-06-2019
Last Updated Date: 26-03-2018