The Effects of Extreme Weather Events on Flexible Pavement

Gadalla, Ahmed (2020) The Effects of Extreme Weather Events on Flexible Pavement. [USQ Project]

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Extreme weather events, such as excessive rainfall causing flooding and elevated maximum temperatures, are becoming a regular occurrence each year in Australia and are increasing in frequency. These weather events can possibly be contributed to climate change, which is a major issue that is likely to worsen in the years to come as we continue to burn more fossil fuels.

Flexible pavements are designed with consideration to the surrounding environment and to an extent, the current climate conditions known to the area. Heat is a known factor that can severely affect the design life of flexible pavements. It can cause surface cracks that, if left untreated, can allow moisture ingress to the sub-base and/or sub-grade layers of the pavement. However, this report will primarily focus on excessive rainfall resulting in flooding as it is a more quantifiable cause of pavement deterioration.

This research project aims to analyse pavement deterioration that can be attributed to by extreme weather events by comparing data collected from the City of Gold Coast (Council’s) Pavement Management System. The primary focus of this project, flooding events, looked to compare road deterioration rates between frequently flooded sections of road to less-affected sections of the same road. This methodology allowed the elimination of variables which may have contributed to pavement deterioration such as increasing AADT, pavement age, and surface age, and ensured the only considerable contribution to the pavement’s deterioration was due to exposure to flooding events. This analysis was performed on four roads in the form of case studies.

Analysis of the results revealed that the road sections which experienced flooding did show evidence of greater deterioration in comparison to the non-flood prone road sections. These deteriorations appeared in the forms of cracks, rutting and stripping. However, not all case studies showed the same intensity of damage or even the same damage type. It was proven though, that in all four case studies,there was a reduction in PCI values and an increase in roughness. A cost analysis was also conducted to better understand the financial impact these weather events may have on Council’s flexible road pavements.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Nataatmadja, Andreas
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 00:43
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:02

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