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Environmental impact of concrete roads

Environmental impact of concrete roads

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This envormation summary is based on a slide show presentation summarising the environmental impact of roads made from concrete (concrete pavement). The study covers the entire road lifecycle, from mining of raw materials and construction, to road use and demolition.

The summary suggests the following with regards to global warming potential of concrete roads over their entire life (in the US, based on a number of assumptions – please follow the link below for details):

Global Warming Potential (GWP) of rural local roads: 600 tons CO2e/mi (340,000 kg CO2e/km)

Global Warming Potential (GWP) of urban interstates: 11,000 tons CO2e/mi (6,300,000 kg CO2e/km)

The summary also details what elements contribute to the GWP suggested above, such as aggregate mining and cement transport etc. It suggests that the biggest contributor to GWP is cement production and the second biggest contributor is fuel consumed due to road surface roughness (the slides do not provide further details on this aspect).

Link to full report (note: this link takes you to the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, you need to search its site for “MIT Research: LCA of Concrete Pavements”.

While we make every effort to be accurate, we do not claim that this summary is representative. Please refer to our Legal Disclaimer for details.

Report Rating: 1 out of 3

Report Published: publication date not stated

Country: US

Author(s): Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concrete sustainability hub

Publisher: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)

Funder: Ready Mixed Concrete Research and Education Foundation (RMCREF) and Portland Cement Association (PCA)

Keywords: life cycle analysis, LCA, cradle to grave analysis, environmental footprint, road, concrete, pavement, cement, fuel consumption, transport, highway, motorway

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