Na Cui & Xianming Shi
One of basic requirements of successfully implementing a highway winter maintenance strategy is appropriate selection of chloride-based snow and ice control products. The growing concern over negative impacts that chloride-based chemicals pose on motor vehicles, transportation infrastructure and the natural environment triggers a need to adopt sustainability principles to highway winter maintenance. Due to the manufacturing and processing technique of chloride-based snow and ice control products, the entire road-treatment life cycle of chloride-based chemicals contributes to the environmental footprint of winter maintenance operations. The objective of this research project is to develop a systemic life-cycle framework to enable comprehensive assessment of environmental sustainability of winter highway operations (e.g., anti-icing, deicing, and sanding/plowing). The dimensions to consider for environmental assessment will include: energy consumption, impacts on water quality/air quality/vegetation/wildlife/human health, detrimental effects on asphalt and concrete infrastructure (e.g., pavements and bridge decks); corrosive effects on steel bridges and motor vehicles. Our goal is to provide a new way of thinking on evaluating highway winter maintenance strategies through a life-cycle sustainability assessment approach.
For more information, please review the Project Information document.