Use of System Dynamics to Understand Long-Term Impact of Climate Change on Pavement Performance and Maintenance Cost

Academic Article


  • An increase in the vulnerability of the nation's roadway network to changes in climatic conditions has become an issue of significant concern. Heavy rainfall and high temperatures are examples of climatic factors that can affect pavement performance and conditions in a detrimental way. Some of these effects, specifically on costs associated with constructing and maintaining roads, may not be significant in the short term but may become significant in the long term. The objective of this study was to present a framework to use system dynamics to understand the long-term impact of climate change on pavement performance and maintenance activity. A system dynamics model was created with available pavement performance and climate change data, and the effects on various key factors, such as pavement life and maintenance cost, were evaluated through simulation. Preliminary results show that the long-term effects of changes in air temperature, rainfall, seawater–level rise, and number of hurricanes on pavement performance are significant and that costs are expected to increase significantly (>160% in 100 years) and nonlinearly. From these findings, recommendations are made for obtaining more accurate and reliable data on relevant climate change factors and for using a system dynamics approach to integrate the multi-disciplinary topics of climate change, pavement design and performance, and economics into comprehensive studies.
  • Authors

  • Mallick, Rajib B
  • Radzicki, Michael J
  • Sias, Jo
  • Jacobs, Jennifer
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2014
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 9
  • Volume

  • 2455
  • Issue

  • 2455