A Critical Review of Existing Literature on Life Cycle Assessment of Pavements and Bridges

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ossama M. Salem


Pavement; Life Cycle Assessment

Subject Categories

Civil and Environmental Engineering


One of the important infrastructures that offer critical services to society is the pavement and bridge system. However, this system has many impacts on society and environment during its life cycle, such as energy and material resource consumption, air and water pollutant emissions, solid waste generation, global warming potential, and also environmental and economic impacts of traffic detouring and traffic delays during construction.

This thesis reviews the existing literature related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of pavements and bridges, and the impacts of pavement and bridge construction on environment and economy. And it also provides a quick description of Life Cycle Assessment tools that are used in the literature.

Life Cycle Assessment is a cradle-to-grave approach, which studies the total potential environmental and economic impacts of all stages in the product's life cycle, and helps in selecting a process with the least impact.

This thesis finds that in pavements the Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) overlay system has less life cycle cost and fewer environmental impacts compared to concrete and Hot-Mixed Asphalt (HMA) overlays. Also, studies on life cycles of bridges show that the ECC system has less life cycle cost, energy consumption and other impact on environment than conventional steel or reinforced concrete systems.

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