Climatological reports demonstrate a clear trend of more frequent occurrence of extreme weathers. Flooding caused by heavy rains severely affects highway pavement performance in many coastal regions. As the trend of climate change continues, highway pavements in these regions will become more vulnerable to flooding. At present, however, pavement design is usually based on historical climatological data and seldom considers future climate changes. Moreover, traditional pavement analysis rarely considers the stochastic nature of weather. This study develops a life-cycle cost optimization model and adopts a stochastic approach to analyzing the effect of climate change. Pavement structure design is optimized by incorporating the flooding effect in the model. As a case study, hourly climate data in the past century in Hong Kong is analyzed to investigate changes in rainfall intensity, and the trends are used to optimize pavement design.
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