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Lecture 9 - Sustainability In Highway Construction Practices And Transportation Operations And Maintenance

Sustainable Transportation Curriculum for Universities

Slide 1

INVEST - Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool (logo).

LECTURE 9: Sustainability in Highway Construction Practices and Transportation Operations and Maintenance

Slide 2

Transportation Planning and Delivery Process

Long-range transportation planning
Develop a vision for transportation investments

Short-range transportation planning
Use capital programming to match priority projects with funds

Project-level planning
Identify project needs, community concerns, and potential solutions

Project-level environmental review
Elaborate review to consider impact on environment, guided by regulations

Design, land acquisition, and permitting
Prepare engineering plans, purchase right of way, and obtain permits

Construction, maintenance, and operations
Build it and keep it working

Slide 3

Sustainable Construction Practices

Sustainable construction practices (SCPs) assist in:

  1. Building highways
  2. Preserving and restoring surrounding ecosystems
  3. Meeting basic human needs such as equity, employment, health, safety, and happiness
  4. Managing resources wisely (including money)

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 4

Sustainable Construction Practices (Continued)

SCPs are those that:

  • Go above and beyond standard practice and/or required national regulatory minimums
  • Show innovation in meeting these standards and minimums in support of people and the environment

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 5

Impact of Highway Construction

Substantial highway construction impacts:

  • Energy consumption (GHG emissions)
  • Habitat (wildlife movement and distribution)
  • Water quality (erosion, sediment, and site pollution)
  • Hydrologic cycle (stormwater runoff and infiltration)
  • Air quality (equipment emissions and fugitive dust)
  • Mobility and access (traffic congestion and road closures)
  • Community (inconvenience and business availability)
  • Non-renewable resources (uses a lot)

However, the contribution of highway construction to national economic and greenhouse gas metrics is relatively small.

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Roller on a newly paved asphalt roadway.

Slide 6

Sustainability Values in Construction

According to research:

  • Most organizations value sustainability
  • In highway construction, sustainability is not as important as cost or schedule
  • There is some consensus that sustainability involves three components: human, environment, and economic
  • Durability and long life of infrastructure are integral to sustainability
  • Sustainability efforts are driven largely by cost
  • There is no leading entity in highway sustainability

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 7

Use of SCPs

  • There is little industry guidance on procuring sustainability in highway construction
  • Materials recycling/reuse is the most identified SCP
  • In a competitive bid environment, contractors are likely to implement SCPs that directly reduce their costs or help them make money; other practices must be compensated for by the owner
  • The competitive advantage resulting from implementing a new SCP is short lived
  • SCPs tend to work when used
  • The performance of alternative materials/methods is addressed in relation to the current standard practice

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 8

Highway Construction Framework

Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook divides highway construction into two basic levels:

  1. Project delivery
    • Practices used to fund, procure, and deliver projects
    • Usually administrative or process oriented
  2. Project
    • Practices that administer, schedule, budget, and build projects
    • May be administrative, process oriented, or activity oriented

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 9

Highway Construction Framework (Continued)

This chart is from NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook, and lists the different elements under the 'project delivery' and 'project' categories.

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Storage area for work zone signage, cones, and barriers.

Slide 10

Sustainability Framework

  • Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook divides sustainability into three common dimensions:
    1. Human well-being
    2. Environmental well-being
    3. Economic well-being
  • Within these dimensions, sustainability is divided into 10 categories that show how the dimensions relate to highway construction

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 11

Sustainability Framework (continued)

This chart is from NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook, and shows how the three sustainability dimensions (human, environmental and economic well-being) links to different aspects of construction.

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Illustration containing urban, rural, and industry scenes alongside an image of Earth.

Slide 12

Mapping Construction and Sustainability

  • Mapping shows how the two frameworks relate to one another
  • In this example, green indicates that a highway construction category addresses a sustainability category
  • This relationship helps identify SCPs that address specific sustainability categories
This chart is from NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook, which shows how the 'sustainability framework' and 'highway construction framework' overlap. This helps identify interactions that can be addressed through <abbr class='tooltip' title='Contributes to one or more of the triple bottom line principles' >sustainable</abbr> construction practices.

Source: S. Muench, G. Migliaccio, J. Kaminsky, M. Ashtiani, A. Mukherjee, C. Bhat, and J. Anderson. NCHRP Research Report 916: Sustainable Highway Construction Guidebook. 2019.

Slide 13

Construction and Maintenance Objectives for Sustainability

  • Reduce crash risk in work zones
  • Reduce delay to commuters due to construction or maintenance activities
  • Reduce delay due to construction or maintenance activities equitably
  • Minimize the impact of construction activities on system efficiency
  • Ensure construction, maintenance, and operation costs are within budget
  • Apply context-sensitive corridor habitat restoration and landscaping during project implementation; reduce herbicide use during project maintenance
  • Increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfill during construction and maintenance
  • Use biofuel for non-road construction and maintenance equipment
  • Reduce equipment emissions (equipment conforming to latest EPA emissions standards)
  • Reduce adverse impact on traffic operations (lane reductions, traffic interruptions, detours, and night operations)
Engineer reviewing plans at a bridge construction site.

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Operations Sustainability Objectives

  • Reduce the crash risk of the traveling public using transit
  • Improve travel time reliability to jobs and other essential destinations through operational improvements
  • Ensure that transportation costs do not disproportionately affect low-income users
  • Implement operational improvements that enhance or maintain the reliability of transportation options
  • Implement operational improvements that enhance the security of freight transportation assets
  • Support growth in jobs by improving travel efficiency/reducing congestion
  • Ensure construction, maintenance, and operation costs are within budget
  • Reduce vehicle‚Äďanimal collisions during operations
  • Reduce litter
  • Purchase green energy
  • Maintain efficient traffic operations
Aerial view of a highway interchange.

Slide 15

Life-Cycle-Based Analyses

  • Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) takes into account economic costs of a transportation investment over the lifetime
  • Life-cycle analysis (LCA) takes into account environmental impacts from material production to end of life
  • Both are important considerations for sustainability, especially in selection of materials and construction methods
Engineers at a planning meeting.

Slide 16 [end]

LECTURE 9: Sustainability in Highway Construction Practices and Transportation Operations and Maintenance

 

 

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