Marginal costs of heavy traffic on flexible roads

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The Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation (Näringsdepartementet) has given VTI the assignment to update the knowledge about the society costs of the transport infrastructure. A part of that work is to improve our knowledge about the relationship between traffic axle loads and degradations of pavement structures.

The objective of this report is to investigate if a simple relationship between axle loading and pavements degradation can be used as a tool for estimation of marginal costs for degradation of the entire road network. Three full scale test pavement structures have therefore been tested with an Heavy Vehicle Simulator using three half-axle load levels 40, 50 and 60 kN (corresponding to 8, 10 and 12 tonnes axle loads) to investigate the load intensity on the degradation progress. As a measure of the distress development has the linear rutting rate during testing been used after the initial exponential rutting phase was passed.

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