Road pavement industries highlight huge CO2 saving offered by maintaining and upgrading roads.
EAPA CO2 emissions position paper is an evaluation about the CO2 emission related to the road maintenance was performed by European Asphalt Pavement Association. They evaluate since different criteria the influence of the road proper maintenance on the CO2 emissions and state that “The main impact on the life of a road is the emissions from vehicles riding on it”.
“The amount of energy and emissions associated with building and maintaining a road is a fraction of that used by the traffic on the road.” This consideration leads to the EAPA to argue the necessity of Policy awareness about the necessity of a why a modern, well-maintained road network is desirable.
Furthermore, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are the major contributor to global warming and account for all EU greenhouse gas emissions.
The numbers behind the consideration of CO2 decreasing due to the proper maintenance of roads.
Independent researchers cited by EAPA, states the increasing of fuel consumption due to the roughness of the road. This values (for heavy trucks) are sited between of 1% at normal highway speed (96 km/h) and 2% at low speed (56 km/h) and about 1.5% at 88 km/h and by about 2% at 56 km/h. This fuel consumption increase it’s converted to increase of emissions.
Based on this considerations, EAPA conclude that “Therefore, an upgrade of one-third of the entire road network of Europe by 2030 could lead to yearly savings of 14 million tons of CO2. If two-thirds of the network were upgraded, this could be 28 million tons of CO2 saved yearly. This is the equivalent of replacing 6 million cars with zero-emission cars”
Finally, but not less important, EAPA consolidates their position about the “Green Procurement” policy. They state that “Road authorities should be empowered and encouraged to raise the quality of construction processes to achieve higher quality pavements. In particular, this means avoiding awarding contracts based on the lowest initial cost only – resulting in lower quality infrastructure and consequently resulting in potentially higher vehicle emissions. In the pavement industries the knowledge and technology are available to deliver high quality and durable solutions, but for now, there is, in most cases, little incentive for the construction companies to use these or to innovate.”
The RAP-CO2 project action
In line with the EAPA stated about the CO2 emissions, the RAP-CO2 project promoted and directed by Ecosurvey® is also in line with the effort for the CO2 emissions decrease, but with the accurate quantification of the potential avoided emissions due the use of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) on new asphalt mixture production.