Pavements Research Briefs

Browse all of our pavements related research briefs below, or explore by topic via the links in the right side bar (on desktop browsers) or at the bottom of this page (on mobile browsers).

Image from Concrete Sustainability Hub research brief, quantifying the impact of pavement reflectivity.
Research Brief: Quantifying the impact of pavement reflectivity
March 13, 2017

The change in radiative energy balance, which is called radiative forcing (RF), reduces nearby air temperatures and impacts the surrounding building energy demand (BED) including heating and...

Chart from Research Brief: Minimizing Thermal Cracking in Concrete Pavements
Research Brief: Minimizing Thermal Cracking in Concrete Pavements
November 30, 2016

Stresses resulting from thermal cycles within concrete pavements can cause expansion, contraction, bending, and flexing that can lead to fracture. This brief examines the risk of fracture of...

Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scalee
Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scale
August 31, 2016

Freeze-thaw damage is a potentially serious deterioration process that occurs in concrete structures in cold climates. While it is known that using certain deicing salts can aggravate the damage,...

Chart image from "Two-Phase Model of Pavement Fracture" brief
Research Brief: Two-Phase Model of Pavement Fracture
June 2, 2016

CSHub researchers are working to understand pavement fracture at all levels, from the nano-scale up, so it is important to have a model that allows for the evaluation of cracks as they are forming...

Concrete Paving Project, Stock Image
Research Summary: Material Price Projections for Pavement Life Cycle Cost Analysis
April 6, 2016

For life cycle cost analyses (LCCAs) to provide the best information possible and lead to better decisions, the cost estimates must reflect, as accurately as possible, the most likely expenditures...

Chart image from research brief on the impact of competition on cost of paving materials
Research Brief: Estimating The Impact Of Competition
February 1, 2016

In many contexts, the existence of either inter-industry or intra-industry competitive substitutes drives down prices.  Concrete and asphalt, the two primary paving materials, can be considered...

Chart from CSHub brief on Pavement Network Assest Management
Research Brief: Developing a Network-Level Pavement Management Model
November 17, 2015

Pavement management systems can serve as an excellent tool for federal and state transportation agencies searching for effective methods to maximize performance of pavement segments in the face of...

Research Brief: An Analysis of Concrete Joint Sawing
September 16, 2015

As concrete hardens, internal stresses can result in the formation of random, uncontrolled cracks in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements. Joints are cut to release some of these early-age...

Depicts a Pavement Vehicle Interaction (PVI), a wheel first stationary then rolling on a model surface.
Research Brief: Analyzing Pavement-Vehicle Interaction through Bench-Top Experiments
August 26, 2015

Pavement Vehicle Interaction (PVI) can significantly contribute to the overall economic and environmental footprint of high traffic volume pavement systems. Past studies examining PVI have taken...

Research Brief: Quantifying Climate Impacts of Surface Albedo
July 15, 2015

Any changes that occur in one place in an atmospheric system, due to factors such as wind speed, temperature, and surface albedo (the measure of the fraction of solar energy reflected by the Earth...


Supplementary Information for Comparative Pavement Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost Analysis
April 9, 2014

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) is conducting life cycle environmental and cost analyses of pavements under a wide range of contexts. The analyses involve the comparison of new asphalt...

Pavement Roughness and Fuel Consumption
August 23, 2013

How does pavement roughness affect a vehicle's fuel consumption? This report explores how roughness is measured, how different pavement materials deteriorate over time in terms of roughness, and...

Materials price forecasting
Back to the Future: Using Historic Prices to Improve Pavement Material Price Projects
August 23, 2013

The future price of infrastructure materials is challenging to predict. This report descibes a method developed by CSHub to predict future prices of concrete and asphalt by using the historic...

PVI deflection
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Estimating the Impact of Deflection-Induced Pavement-Vehicle Interaction on Fuel Consumption
May 1, 2013

A brief overview of pavement-vehicle interaction and deflection-based modeling geared towards practitioners, policy-makers, and the general public. 

  • ...
Model Based Pavement-Vehicle Interaction Simulation for Life Cycle Assessment of Pavements
April 1, 2012

CSHub releases comprehensive research report on the impact of deflection induced PVI for life cycle assessment of pavements. It includes a detailed description of model development and application...

Industry Day 2011: Full Reports
August 11, 2011

Methods, Impacts, and Opportunities in the Concrete

LCA Interim Report
December 1, 2010

Because of the enormous environmental and economic impact of infrastructure in the United States, there is a growing need to better understand the life cycle performance of structures and to...

Concrete Paving Project, Stock Image
Research Summary: Material Price Projections for Pavement Life Cycle Cost Analysis
April 6, 2016

For life cycle cost analyses (LCCAs) to provide the best information possible and lead to better decisions, the cost estimates must reflect, as accurately as possible, the most likely expenditures...

Peer-reviewed publication: Pavement Infrastructures Footprint: The Impact of Pavement Properties on Vehicle Fuel Consumption
March 24, 2014

A novel mechanistic model based on an infinite beam on elastic foundation is developed to quantify the impact of pavement structural and material properties on pavement deflection and consequently...

Peer-reviewed publication: Comparative Pavement Life Cycle Assessment with Parameter Uncertainty
December 1, 2013

We present a comparative life cycle assessment of pavements considering measurement uncertainty and the data-quality uncertainty. We account for the uncertainty due to the prediction of roughness...

Peer-reviewed publication: Flügge’s Conjecture: Dissipation- versus Deflection-Induced Pavement–Vehicle Interactions
November 26, 2013

The dissipation occurring below a moving tire in steady-state conditions in contact with a viscoelastic pavement is expressed using two different reference frames: a fixed observer attached to the...

Peer-reviewed publication: Probabilistic Characterization of Uncertain Inputs in the Life-Cycle Cost Analysis of Pavements
November 8, 2013

Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is an important tool for evaluating the merits of alternative investments. Inevitably, inputs for an LCCA are subject to a high level of uncertainty in both the...

Peer-reviewed publication: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Opportunities for Concrete Pavements
September 9, 2013

Concrete pavements are a vital part of the transportation infrastructure, comprising nearly 25% of the interstate network in the United States. With transportation authorities and industry...

Peer-reviewed publication: Mechanistic Approach to Pavement-Vehicle Interaction and Its Impact on Life-Cycle Assessment
December 15, 2012

The accuracy and the comprehensiveness of any pavement life-cycle assessment are limited by the ability of the supporting science to quan- tify the environmental impact. Pavement–vehicle...

Peer-reviewed publication: Designing Sustainable Concrete Pavements using the Pavement-ME Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design and Life Cycle Analysis
October 3, 2012

Increasing the sustainability of our infrastructure is accomplished in ways other than just developing better materials and using recycled materials: it is also about employing the right designs....

Peer-reviewed publication: Sensitivity Analysis of the Life Cycle Environmental Performance of Asphalt and Concrete Pavements
April 13, 2010

The goal of the present Life Cycle Assessment study is to evaluate the environmental impact over the lifetime of one square meter (the functional unit) of the two most common pavement categories:...