Launch of the project CRISPS – Climate resilient sustainable road pavement surfacings

One or several simultaneous changes in the climate conditions, e.g. hotter seasons, extreme precipitation events, increasing severe storms and sea level rise could severely affect roads in LICs. Missing to appreciate such an impact in future road design, maintenance and operating planning and protocols, could cause accelerated road deterioration and increased risk of damage, traffic disruption and accidents with knock-on effects on economy.


To address this, the CRISPS multi-disciplinary research project will operate over 18 months under the leadership of the University of Birmingham (UoB) and in collaboration with the University of Auckland (UoA), the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the International Road Federation (IRF).   


The aim of this project is to achieve an affordable high-volume road resilient approach to climate change and traffic demands, by assessing the suitability of three global best practice types of road surfacing technologies for use in LICs to counter the impacts of climate change, namely Modified Epoxy Chip Seals (MECS), Modified Epoxy Asphalt Surfaces (MEAS) and Fibre Mastic Asphalt (FMA) respectively. The technologies are a result of many years of research in New Zealand (MECS and MEAS) and Malaysia (FMA) where their in-situ performance has been demonstrated through trials and they are as a result routinely used in service.


The research will utilise a modelling approach which considers life cycle analysis and via the practical application of the approaches in Ethiopia. An anti-fraud methodology for testing the components of the technologies using neutron beam particle analysis will also be trialled. The objectives of the research are:

  1. The development of models of the behaviour of the three technologies under the variety of current and future environmental (i.e., climate and subgrade/ base course) and traffic conditions found in HVT roads in LICs in Africa and S. Asia.
  2. A scoping exercise to identify existing chip seals in LICs that are at risk and could benefit from MECS, MEAS or FMA and for new roads.
  3. The development of life cycle models for the technologies, considering the effects of climate change, both for the construction of new roads and for resurfacing (overlay).
  4. Scoping inexpensive anti-fraud in-situ testing methodologies for MEAS, MECS, based on neutron beam particle analysis.
  5. Building and testing in Ethiopia innovative low-cost easy application methods for the three technologies.


Join the CRISPS LinkedIn Group to become part of the community of practice and exchange knowledge and expertise. 

An introductory webinar on the project will be hosted on 10th December at 9:00 AM (CET). Register your participation.