Wednesday, November 27, 2013, AM | 2 Comments
The highway engineers are responsible for planning, designing and constructing roads, tunnels and bridges. They also have to ensure that the bridges, roads and tunnels will safely transport goods and people. An engineer who works on such projects will wear many hats. Finance is a major issue but the engineers must consider traffic flow, highway design and geometric design and alignment.
Highway engineering is a branch of civil engineering and in this modern day world the engineers focus on road construction technologies that promote efficiency.
Saving Money When Rubber Meets the Road
A group of civil engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently found a way of reducing vehicle fuel consumption by as much as three per cent a year. Is it really possible to save this amount of money on travel and how? The engineers state that installing firmer pavements will not only save in excess of fifteen billion dollars on oil, but it will also decrease annual CO2 emissions by forty six point five million metric tons.
The study utilized mathematical modelling as opposed to using roadway experiments. But research has shown that pavement deflection has a significant impact on vehicle fuel consumption throughout the entire United States road network. Finance plays an important role but these latest findings make interesting reading.
The Link Between Road Construction Technology and Cheaper Travel
Civil engineers must consider transport economics. Society in general relies on efficient roads but highway construction costs must be taken into account. The United States of America has the largest road network in existence; hence finance is a major factor.
In general, roads have a bituminous surface, a recycled surface, a concrete surface, a composite surface, a gravel surface or an asphalt surface. But experienced civil engineers are constantly investigating emerging technologies that could lead to cheaper road travel.
Travel on a concrete road and you may use less fuel that you would when travelling on an asphalt road. A truck will be able to travel more cheaply on a concrete road surface because this type of surface is less likely to give under the weight.
The Green Streets Calculator
The road engineers remain focused on energy conservation. Finance is always an issue but certain road surfaces make for cheaper travelling.
Read through the Green Streets Program and you will see that concrete road surfaces have numerous Eco-friendly benefits. Not only do these roads consume far lower amounts of steel, asphalt, cement and aggregates but they also reduce energy consumption that is connected with reconstruction, raw material and rehabilitation.
Use the Green Streets Calculator to find out how much money and fuel can be saved when travelling on a concrete surface.
Engineering Concrete Roads Could Help to Reduce Road Closures
A team of experienced researchers have developed an energy efficient concrete that can be used by traffic as soon as it has been laid. The fiber –reinforced concrete incorporates processed steel fibers. The steel-fibers used to manufacture this material come from “used tires”, hence the concrete is far cheaper to produce.
Skilled Transport Engineering Creates Cheaper Travel
Embrace the concept of concrete streets and we may all reap the benefits of cheaper travel. It has been suggested that the USA could save in excess of two billion gallons of diesel per year if the entire National Highway System was constructed from concrete. It stands to reason that the “knock-on” effects would be dramatic because concrete roads require little maintenance and they rarely need to be resurfaced.
Are the Civil Engineers Optimizing our Highways to Make Road Travel Cheaper?
Yes. The collective benefits of green roads are quite clear. Finance is a major concern but concrete road construction certainly makes travel cheaper.
William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. In this article, he describes ways engineers are making travel cheaper and aims to encourage further study with an NJIT Civil Engineering Masters.