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Investigation of the impact of climate change on road maintenance

Anyala, Michael (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The performance of roads is known to progressively reduce as a result of separate and interactive effects of climate and traffic. Existing decision support tools such as HDM-4, which are widely used to investigate long-term road maintenance strategies, utilise past climate data instead of future climate predictions. Uncertainties inherent in future climate predictions however imply that application of such tools could lead to outputs that are not robust in light of climate change.

The objectives of the study were threefold: firstly, to develop a rut depth prediction model that considered potential effects of future climate; secondly, to formulate a framework for quantification of uncertainties; and finally, to demonstrate the application of the tools developed using a case study.
The model was developed using data provided by the UK Highways Agency and UK Climate Impacts Programme. The methodology used was based on Bayesian regression. The developed model was found to perform better than the current asphalt surfacing rut depth model implemented in HDM-4 when future climate data was used.

It was concluded that probabilistic outputs from the tools developed including deterioration rates, pavement condition and discounted maintenance costs for each maintenance strategy, and future climate and socio-economic scenarios provide a useful decision making framework for considering alternative strategies for road maintenance on the basis of the level of climate change risks that can be tolerated.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Baker, Christopher and Odoki, Jennaro B
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Civil Engineering
Additional Information:

Papers based on this research are published as:

M. Anyala, J. B. Odoki, C. J. Baker
Hierarchical asphalt pavement deterioration model for climate impact studies
International Journal of Pavement Engineering

Anyala, Michael and Odoki, Jennaro and Baker, Christopher
Assessment of the impact of climate change on road maintenance.
In: 2nd International Conference on Advances in Engineering and Technology (AET2011), 31 Jan – 2 Feb 2011, Entebbe, Uganda.

Keywords:Road maintenance, climate change, asphalt surface rutting, Bayesian regression, pavement rutting prediction model, climate impact assessment, uncertainty framework
Subjects:TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:2815
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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