The effect of agency budgets on minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from road rehabilitation policies

Darren Reger, Samer Madanat, Arpad Horvath

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Transportation agencies are being urged to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One possible solution within their scope is to alter their pavement management system to include environmental impacts. Managing pavement assets is important because poor road conditions lead to increased fuel consumption of vehicles. Rehabilitation activities improve pavement condition, but require materials and construction equipment, which produce GHG emissions as well. The agency's role is to decide when to rehabilitate the road segments in the network. In previous work, we sought to minimize total societal costs (user and agency costs combined) subject to an emissions constraint for a road network, and demonstrated that there exists a range of potentially optimal solutions (a Pareto frontier) with tradeoffs between costs and GHG emissions. However, we did not account for the case where the available financial budget to the agency is binding. This letter considers an agency whose main goal is to reduce its carbon footprint while operating under a constrained financial budget. A Lagrangian dual solution methodology is applied, which selects the optimal timing and optimal action from a set of alternatives for each segment. This formulation quantifies GHG emission savings per additional dollar of agency budget spent, which can be used in a cap-and-trade system or to make budget decisions. We discuss the importance of communication between agencies and their legislature that sets the financial budgets to implement sustainable policies. We show that for a case study of Californian roads, it is optimal to apply frequent, thin overlays as opposed to the less frequent, thick overlays recommended in the literature if the objective is to minimize GHG emissions. A promising new technology, warm-mix asphalt, will have a negligible effect on reducing GHG emissions for road resurfacing under constrained budgets.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number114007
    JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
    Volume10
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 30 2015

    Fingerprint

    Budgets
    Gas emissions
    Greenhouse gases
    Patient rehabilitation
    greenhouse gas
    Rehabilitation
    Gases
    road
    Pavements
    pavement
    asphalt
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Carbon Footprint
    Construction equipment
    Costs
    Carbon footprint
    cost
    carbon footprint
    Asphalt
    Fuel consumption

    Keywords

    • budget allocation
    • GHGemissions
    • Pareto
    • pavement
    • resurfacing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

    Cite this

    The effect of agency budgets on minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from road rehabilitation policies. / Reger, Darren; Madanat, Samer; Horvath, Arpad.

    In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 10, No. 11, 114007, 30.10.2015.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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