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Concrete Highways Reduce Fuel Consumption, Study Says

October 3, 2000

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Driving on concrete highways reduces heavy truck fuel consumption by as much as 11 percent, according to a National Research Council study released at the Canada, United States, Mexico Trade Corridors Conference in Windsor, Ontario, yesterday.

The study compared the rate of fuel consumption of transport trucks on concrete versus asphalt surfaces. Commissioned by the Cement Association of Canada, the study adds to growing evidence that concrete highways offer greater cost efficiencies by outperforming and outlasting other road surfaces in terms of durability, maintenance and repairs, said the association.
The NRC study concluded that less fuel is used because concrete highways have rigid surfaces, which create less rolling resistance than asphalt. Rolling resistance is a significant factor in fuel consumption.
"High volume, high truck traffic highways are ideally suited to concrete," said Lloyd Ferguson, president of the Ontario Road Builders Association. "We have sections of highway in southern Ontario that carry the equivalent of 500,000 vehicles a day, which can cause asphalt surface to wear fairly quickly. The rigid concrete surface holds up much better over the life of the highway."

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