Regional CO2 impact assessment of road infrastructure improvements

Farinoush Sharifi, Andrew G. Birt, Chaoyi Gu, Jeff Shelton, Reza Farzaneh, Joe Zietsman, Andrew Fraser, Mikhail Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Transparent methods of estimating CO2 emissions from transportation sources are necessary to evaluate mitigation strategies. This study proposes a framework to assess the regional impact of roadway designs on CO2 emissions. First, three roadway infrastructure configurations were designed to improve the traffic flow at intersections and interchanges. Second, the economical and environmental life-cycle cost assessments of constructing and maintaining new infrastructures were developed. Then, the effects of infrastructure on regional vehicle CO2 emissions were modeled using a simulation-based dynamic traffic assignment model coupled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model. The case study estimated that converting 72 stop signs to roundabouts within El Paso, TX, reduced daily vehicular CO2 emissions by more than 50 tonnes, paying back the CO2 from construction and maintenance within 2.5 to 2.9 years. The roundabout modifications' cost-effectiveness ranged from $30 to $130 per tonne of CO2 over a 30-year assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102638
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • CO
  • Dynamic traffic assignment
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Road reconfiguration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)


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