Pavement Preservation: Greening Roads & Stretching Budgets
The environment is consistently on the minds of legislators and the general public. From greenhouse gases and the Clean Air Act, to storm water legislation, to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), green is going strong. And as an eco-friendly and socially responsible aid to infrastructure, pavement preservation deserves recognition and additional consideration for the role it plays.
Pavement Preservation’s Sustainable Side
When compared to traditional rehabilitation methods, pavement preservation methods such as slurry and micro surfacing, chip sealing and crack treatment provide the following sustainable benefits:
- Consume less aggregate and binder – i.e., natural resources
- Reduce the need to demolish, haul and dispose of (or even recycle) old pavements
- Reduce waste, emissions and greenhouse gases
- Require less aggregate, reducing dust from crushing and screening. They also use a cooler and quicker application.
- Roads are drivable within a short period after the treatments have been applied, reducing traffic delays and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Pavement preservation methods provide numerous environmental benefits, including reducing the consumption of natural resources and reducing emissions. At the bidding stage and beyond, it would certainly be beneficial for contractors to bring all of these points to the specifying agencies’ attention.
The Other Green Benefit: Pavement Preservation Stretches Budgets
In addition to the sustainable benefits, ISSA’s pavement preservation processes address government agencies’ economical need to stretch their budget by extending the life of the roads by up to seven years or more. When these processes are applied to the right road at the right time, agencies are able to maintain four to five times the amount of lane miles than they can if they only try to rehabilitate the worst roads.
Using the right pavement preservation application, on the right road, at the right time can mean a savings of up to $400, 000 to $500,000 per mile of two-lane road over a 50-year period. When you consider the number of miles in your road network, that savings is hard to ignore.