Reducing Carbon Emissions on the Road: from Cars to Infrastructure

highway construction in milwaukee wisconsin

Transportation Infrastructure Construction and Planning

The vehicles on the road are not alone in producing CO2, the roads themselves are actually guilty of their own emissions. The construction and maintenance of roadways is a process that, on its own, creates CO2 emissions.

  • Cement – The cement manufacturing industry is one of the largest producers of CO2 right behind transportation. And cement also happens to be one of the major components of most roadways and parking lots. By phasing out concrete as a primary component we can help begin to address that issue.
  • Lighting and Road Management – Surprisingly road lighting is another factor in highway CO2 emissions. But replacing outdated lighting technologies with LEDs, low pressure sodium (LPS) street lights and highly reflective surfaces in place of lights can actually cut carbon emissions. Along with lighting, simple traffic management can make a big difference. Minor adjustments like improving traffic flow, better incident management, ramp metering and speed caps can all help to cut down on road related CO2.
  • Materials and Equipment – The off-road vehicles needed to create and repair roads give off their own fair share of CO2 emissions. But by lowering equipment activity, and improving fuel technology, these machines can be re-vamped to be less damaging. In making the roadways themselves, the Department of Transportation suggests that a reduction in material volume, along with recycled materials and alternative preparation processes, can significantly decrease the CO2 coming from road construction.

Granted, the cars and trucks on the road, give off much more CO2 than the actual roads. But changing the way we build, maintain and manage our streets and highways can improve our situation.

The carbon emissions coming from transportation are a major problem and we are all obligated to do what we can to reduce the damage we are causing. To start, it’s as simple as making better personal choices in our own cars. Form there we all need to be more educated on the bigger picture of the commercial transportation sector and support the companies that are doing their part. It may all be only be drops in the bucket right now, but it only takes a few drops to create a storm.

Jade writes for uShip a transport marketplace for heavy haul and freight loads. Jade is an experienced blogger and writer with a true passion for going green.

Image credit: Beige Alert at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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