Moving towards sustainability and increasing user safety by improving performance of RAP mixtures and developing a network-level decision-making tool for pavement maintenance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gx41mp49k

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  • Due to a general reduction in pavement program funding levels over the past decade, the current budget is not sufficient to maintain roadways at a high level of service with acceptable roughness levels. Rough roadways with poor ride quality increase drivers’ vehicle operating costs (fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, and tire-wear) and affect road-users’ safety. Therefore, current pavement program budget should be more efficiently allocated to road maintenance and rehabilitation. In addition, incorporating high reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) into pavement resurfacings reduces the pavement life cycle costs, preserves raw materials, benefits the environment, and provides more money for pavement maintenance programs.The goal of this study is to develop a network-level decision-making tool to select the most efficient pavement maintenance and rehabilitation strategies to minimize agency and user costs and maximize their benefits. This study also evaluates the effects of different trigger roughness levels, at which the maintenance should be applied, and different treatment methods (1. considering one value for trigger roughness value for all the sections regardless of the traffic levels, and 2. considering different trigger roughness values for sections based on their traffic levels) on user benefits and agency costs. Moreover, to increase RAP content in asphalt mixtures and preserve the long-term durability of the finished asphalt concrete containing RAP, methods of increasingRAP content (1. Using a softer binder and 2. using high binder content) in asphalt mixtures are investigated.Results show that available budget level controls the optimal trigger roughness values. Using a lower value for trigger roughness requires a higher budget level and increases user benefits. In addition, this study found that considering one value for trigger roughness for all the sections regardless of their traffic levels is more optimal than considering different values for trigger roughness based on the traffic levels. This study also shows that by using softer binders and higher binder contents, it is possible to increase RAP content in asphalt mixtures without sacrificing performance. In this study, possible combinations of RAP contents, binder contents, and binder grades to achieve acceptable cracking and rutting performance for asphalt mixtures are also suggested.
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