Alissa Kendall– Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis
Mikhail Chester– Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering program, Arizona State University
Increasingly, transportation projects are not just about transportation. They are also proposed to meet environmental goals and, in the case of SB 375, are tied to the state’s environmental targets explicitly. Despite this evolving focus, the process of evaluating these projects’ environmental impacts and benefits is little changed, and typically involves only the legally-required, time-limited, threshold-based analysis that addresses the significance of impacts associated with an already-selected project. This session introduced life-cycle analysis (LCA) as an innovative tool for more thoroughly evaluating the full “cradle-to-grave” benefits, impacts, and tradeoffs of and among transportation project alternatives.