Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Road Infrastructure
Embargoed until: 2019-03-06
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There is increasing evidence that the Earth’s climate is changing. These changes can have direct impacts on road infrastructure because of their environmental effects. 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. Roads typically have design lives of 20 to 40 years. 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 the South East Queensland region in the next 90 years, and further identify and assess the likely effects of climate change on road pavement.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
School of Eng & Built Env
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