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).

Research Brief: Improving America’s Road Infrastructure by Embracing Uncertainty
March 10, 2022

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represent a unique opportunity to transform America's infrastructure. Nevertheless, it closes less than half of the...

The MIT Carbin navigation app crowdsources road information anonymously to help improve infrastructure
Research Brief: Crowdsourcing Road Conditions at Scale
September 24, 2021

Carbin is a navigation app co-developed by MIT CSHub that allows users to anonymously crowdsource road quality data and vehicle information. The app's developers are now working with fleet...

MIT reseach shows that concrete pavements can be carbon neutral by 2050, reducing concrete's emissions over 30 years by 60%
Research Brief: Solutions for Carbon-neutral Concrete in U.S. Pavements
August 3, 2021

How can concrete pavements reach carbon neutrality? In this research brief, we outline the various strategies to...

Concrete Pavements in the United States Could Absorb 5% of Cement Emissions and help fight Climate Change
Research Brief: Life Cycle Carbon Uptake of the United States Pavement Network
January 27, 2021

During a natural chemical process known as carbonation, concrete binders exposed to the air can break down and sequester atmospheric CO2....

Research Brief: Comparison of Feedforward and Recurrent Neural Networks for Predicting Pavement Roughness
January 26, 2021

While it has long been clear that the weight of traffic deteriorates pavements, the exact forms of damage it causes has remained uncertain....

This report provides a unified theoretical framework for understating two causes of premature deterioration in concrete pavements: the alkali-silica reaction and freeze-thaw damage.
A Scientific Investigation into Concrete Pavement Durability
January 12, 2021

A culmination of several years of multidisciplinary collaboration, this report by researchers from CSHub, Oregon State University, and the...

Topic Summary: Mitigating Climate Change with Reflective Pavements
November 13, 2020

Due to climate change, air temperatures will rise dramatically over the next century—especially in urban areas. The City of Boston, for instance, predicts that by 2050 its average summer air...

Research Brief: Improving Pavement Network Conditions Through Competition
October 26, 2020

Today, departments of transportation must solve the nation’s infrastructure crisis while facing ever-greater backlogs for repair. CSHub has found that implementing long-term planning and...

Topic Summary: Industry Competition and Paving Material Unit Costs
August 11, 2020

Healthy markets require robust competition. The paving materials market, though, possesses relatively little competition between industries and, as a result, has unnecessarily high unit costs. If...

Research Brief: Investigating the Mechanisms of ASR Using Atomistic Methods
July 1, 2020

The alkali-silica-reaction, a leading cause of deterioration in concrete, has been studied extensively—yet some of its mechanisms remain unclear....


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. 

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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...

This report provides a unified theoretical framework for understating two causes of premature deterioration in concrete pavements: the alkali-silica reaction and freeze-thaw damage.
A Scientific Investigation into Concrete Pavement Durability
January 12, 2021

A culmination of several years of multidisciplinary collaboration, this report by researchers from CSHub, Oregon State University, and the...

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:...