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Florida Research Validates MIT Findings on Fuel Savings

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Speaking at Portland Cement Association's (PCA) Fall Board Meeting in Dallas last week, Dr. Michael Bienvenu presented the results of tests comparing the fuel consumption of concrete and asphalt pavements. Dr. Bienvenu, an engineering professor at Florida International University, conducted the research along 28 miles of Interstate 95 in Brevard County. The tests were conducted on equivalent sections of concrete and asphalt pavements. He found that passenger vehicles on rigid (concrete) pavements used 3.2 percent less fuel compared to flexible (asphalt) pavements. In addition, the study shows that for loaded tractor-trailers along the same corridor, rigid pavement provided 4.5 percent better fuel economy than the flexible pavement.

These findings are consistent with research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Concrete Sustainability Hub. The Florida research provides real-world confirmation of MIT’s modeling work.

The potential for economic and environmental benefits are enormous. The study concludes that if all roads within the Florida State Highway System were rigid concrete construction the annual savings in fuel consumption could be 500 million gallons, the annual savings to the public could be more than $2.0 billion and CO2 emissions would be reduced by over 5 million tons.

Source: PCA Executive Report e-newsletter for November 25

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