By: Jan R. Prusinski, PE
A recent Youtube post by MIT researcher Medhi Akbarian, makes an excellent point--with humor. When we decide to build or reconstruct a road, we need to engineer a solution that not only meets the immediate need of providing a useable road, but also minimizes cost, and considers the fuel impact of the vehicles traveling on the road.
Concrete roads have the potential to reduce fuel consumption because of their higher stiffness, according to MIT. And a local Texas study by Dr. S.A. Ardakani of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), actually has measured this fuel reduction in the DFW area.
Can you imagine, with the millions of cars and trucks travelling Texas roads, how much energy and greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced (as well as life cycle costs) by switching to concrete? Well, UTA actually has a calculator that you can download. Get this, as well as a full copy of the UTA study at the RMC Foundation's Environmental Health & Safety page (go to the "Effect of Pavement Type on Fuel Consumption and Emissions in City Driving" section).
For more information about the research MIT is doing with regard to pavement-vehicle interaction and fuel use, as well as life cycle cost analysis, visit MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub (https://cshub.mit.edu/).
"This blog was previously posted in the Cement Council of Texas' "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog" (now inactive) and was carried forward to the current blog ("Cementx Pavement Blog") as it contains content that may be of interest to the reader".
The Cementx Pavement Blog seeks to make pavement owners, engineers and contractors smarter about selecting, designing, constructing and maintaining pavements. New blog postings began February 1, 2017; however, we carried over pavement-related blog postings from our older blog, the "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog," which ran until December 2016.