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Research Report 441 Are the harmful emissions from New Zealand's light duty vehicle fleet improving?

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Vehicle emission reduction technologies are continually improving. In theory, as new vehicles replace old ones in the fleet and as fuel quality improves, the amount of pollutants discharged on a per vehicle basis should (on average) be reducing. However, it is unclear how much influence new technology and improved fuel is actually having on the 'real-world' emissions from the light duty vehicle fleet as a whole. This project used remote sensing to measure real-world vehicle emissions in Auckland in 2009 and then compared the results with measurements taken at the same sites in comparable campaigns undertaken in 2003 and 2005.

Research Report 315 Identifying sensitive receiving environments at risk from road runoff

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

A GIS-based screening tool is described for identifying and ranking sensitive receiving environments (SREs) at risk from road runoff from state highways and local roads in New Zealand. The tool focuses on the particulate fraction of runoff and the risk this poses to ‘depositional’ receiving environments. The tool uses the source-pathway-receptor concept and is applied on a catchment basis. Source strength is expressed either in vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) or relative pollutant load. Pathways are assigned an attenuation factor in terms of ‘connectivity’ to the receiving environment. Receiving environment sensitivity is based on depositional characteristics of the waterbody type, with secondary attributes covering ecological and human use values. Tier 1 identifies SREs potentially at risk using VKT per sub-catchment. Tier 2 further assesses risk using a model to estimate vehicle contaminant load (particulate matter, zinc and copper) for comparing road networks.

Research Report 623 Effects of land transport activities on New Zealand’s endemic bat populations: reviews of ecological and regulatory literature

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: General, Road traffic engineers & consultants

Roading projects may have adverse effects on indigenous wildlife. In New Zealand the effects of roading on long-tailed bats (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) is an issue and projects have attempted to monitor and mitigate effects on bats populations. However, how to undertake monitoring and mitigation is unclear. The New Zealand Transport Agency commissioned Wildland Consultants, Landcare Research and AECOM to:

review the literature on effects and mitigation of roads on bats, and relevant statutory processes
research road effects on long tailed bats
develop a framework for managing these effects. Roads affect bats by severing their flight paths and depleting roosting habitat by removing trees. Most bat road research has quantified effects on behaviour rather than population survival, making prediction of effects difficult. No studies have demonstrated any mitigation options to be effective for bats.

Research Report 115 Lead-based paint management on roading structures: Section III – Guidelines

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report is Section III of four 'stand alone' documents that can be used by road controlling authorities, maintenance engineers, and industrial painting contractors when carrying out removal or maintenance of lead-based paints on steel roading structures to comply with their statutory obligations and minimise effects on the environment, and risks to workers and public health. This document contains guidelines for structure owners, maintenance engineers, consultants and contractors. It will assist them to identify the most cost-effective maintenance strategy while minimising environmental, and health and safety risks during the maintenance work. Report series

Section I - Results of surveys (report on this page)
Section II - Code of conduct
Section III - Guidelines (report on this page)
Section IV - Model specification
Keywords: lead paint removal, risk assessment, maintenance painting, bridges

Research Report 601 Understanding the value of transport investment in historic and cultural heritage

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: Advice and assistance, General, Land developers, Local & regional government

The 2015 Government Policy Statement on Land Transport focuses on economic growth, productivity, road safety, and value for money. The transport system must also support economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being. This means that road controlling authorities (RCAs) must mitigate the impacts of their projects on heritage sites without placing an unreasonable funding burden on the economy.  

RCAs such as the Transport Agency have their own approaches for assessing and managing historic and cultural heritage. No consistent national guidelines for heritage conservation actions exist, however, which creates risks and opportunities during project development, delivery and ongoing ownership of heritage. The requirements for heritage conservation follow from designation processes, but do not necessarily strengthen the heritage and cultural values of structures and environments. An economic perspective of such values can improve the value for money of heritage investments, and support New Zealand’s heritage stock.

Research Report 343 Environmental effects of emulsions

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report describes a study, carried out in 2006–2007, of the potential toxicity to the environment (ecotoxicity) of cationic bitumen emulsions used for chipsealing (surface dressing) in New Zealand. The ecotoxicities of the separate components of bitumen emulsions are reviewed to assess their contribution to emulsion ecotoxicity. Overseas reports on the environmental dangers of a non-ionic bitumen emulsion (a power station fuel) and runoff from cold mix asphalt are examined for relevant applications to sealing emulsions. Ecotoxicities are measured for four representative New Zealand emulsions. The implications of the findings for possible environmental classification of emulsions by environmental authorities are discussed.

Research report 404 Environmental and financial costs and benefits of warm asphalts

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Warm asphalts are asphalts produced at significantly lower temperatures than the C that is typical of a hot mix plant. Depending on the approximately 160 technology used, laying and compaction may also be possible at significantly reduced temperatures. The report gives a summary of current warm asphalt technologies, followed by details of costs, temperature reductions and energy savings. A comparison is made of potential environmental costs and benefits of hot mix manufacture and the different warm mix methodologies.

Research Report 406 Quantifying the benefits of waste minimisation

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

A methodology was developed in 2006–09 to quantify the benefits of waste minimisation in road construction. The methodology uses estimates of the energy and emissions involved in all operations, raw and recycled materials used, and the costs, energy use and emissions associated with traffic delay. A spreadsheet was developed as a tool for road controlling authorities to decide on the merits of using a waste minimising technique, and to compare the associated benefits and costs.

Research Report 028 Traffic noise from uninterrupted traffic flows

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The modification of the UK CRTN (Calculation of Road Traffic Noise) formulae for the prediction of traffic noise from uninterrupted traffic flows has been researched. The report details the methods used for data collection of noise and traffic relationships, shows the shortcomings of the CRTN model in the New ZEaland situation, and shows how pavement type and chiseal texture as well as the ratio of medium to heavy trucks affect the level of traffic noise. Full equations are provided that can predict the L10 traffic noise level from uninterrupted traffic flows to a tolerance of 2 dB(A) 95% of the time. The 1-hour L10 value can be obtained by adding 13 dB(A) to the 18-hour modified CRTN formula. Details are provided on the effects of ground cover, facade reflection, and variance in noise-traffic relationships over a number of days.

Research Report 345 Contaminant characterisation and toxicity of road sweepings and catchpit sediments: towards more sustainable reuse options

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

In 2006–2007, 35 road-derived sediments (RDS) consisting of street sweepings and catchpit (ie sump) sediments, were collected from three cities in New Zealand; namely Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. The concentrations, mobility and toxicity of contaminants were determined in order to assess the suitability of RDS for certain reuse applications. The current situation in New Zealand is that all RDS must be disposed of in landfills. The RDS were analysed for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the heavy metals, lead, copper and zinc – with respective median (n=35) concentrations of 1220, 6. 3, 122, 67, 422 μg/g. Comparisons with soil guideline values for ecological protection (Dutch and Canadian) and reuse of biosolids for land application (New Zealand), indicated that zinc will be the most problematic contaminant with respect to mitigating environmental risks in any reuse applications of RDS in New Zealand.