I-94 Recycled Materials Case Study

The Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC) analyzed the environmental benefits of incorporating recycled material in the reconstruction of Interstate 94 (I-94) in Kenosha County, WI, using BE2ST-in-Highways. BE2ST-in-Highways integrates various supporting databases and uses life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) techniques to evaluate the overall impact of highway construction projects. An alternative construction project that contains recycled materials is typically analyzed in comparison to a reference project that contains virgin materials. With the goal of quantitatively determining the environmental benefits of using recycled materials, the RMRC targeted a one-mile stretch of the Kenosha County portion of the I-94 North-South Freeway Project because it incorporates recycled materials in its reconstruction. Recycled materials used in the project include fly ash, bottom ash, foundry sand, recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), and recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). Preliminary results of the BE2ST-in-Highways analysis of the I-94 mainline reconstruction show that the use of recycled materials reduces the environmental impact of the highway construction in all criteria over its lifetime.

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