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Highways for LIFE

Arrow California Demonstration Project: Pavement Replacement Using a Precast Concrete Pavement System

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Draft Final Report October 2012

Pavement Replacement Using a Precast Concrete Pavement System on I-15 in Ontario


The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) pilot program is to accelerate the use of innovations that improve highway safety and quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. LIFE is an acronym for Longer-lasting highway infrastructure using Innovations to accomplish the Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges.

Specifically, HfL focuses on speeding up the widespread adoption of proven innovations in the highway community. Such innovations encompass technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, and practices used to finance, design, or construct highways. HfL is based on the recognition that innovations are available that, if widely and rapidly implemented, would result in significant benefits to road users and highway agencies.

Although innovations themselves are important, HfL is as much about changing the highway community’s culture from one that considers innovation something that only adds to the workload, delays projects, raises costs, or increases risk to one that sees it as an opportunity to provide better highway transportation service. HfL is also an effort to change the way highway community decisionmakers and participants perceive their jobs and the service they provide.

The HfL pilot program, described in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Section 1502, includes funding for demonstration construction projects. By providing incentives for projects, HfL promotes improvements in safety, construction-related congestion, and quality that can be achieved through the use of performance goals and innovations. This report documents one such HfL demonstration project.

Additional information on the HfL program is at


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
California Demonstration Project: Pavement Replacement Using a Precast Pavement System on I-15 in Ontario
5. Report Date
June 2012
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Chetana Rao, Ph.D., Paul Littleton, P.E., Suri Sadasivam, Ph.D., and Gerry Ullman
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
100 Trade Centre Drive, Suite 200
Champaign, IL 61820
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS) C6B
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Draft Report

November 2011–May 2012

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officers Technical Representatives: Byron Lord, Mary Huie
16. Abstract

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the California Department of Transportation was awarded a $5 million grant to showcase and demonstrate the use of precast concrete pavement system (PCPS) technology for the replacement of concrete slabs on Interstate 15 in Ontario, CA. The project involved the rehabilitation of 4.7 miles of roadway including 696 PCPS slab installations. The rehabilitation project provided the opportunity to evaluate PCPS alongside traditional cast-in-place slab replacement methods. In addition, the project involved the use of other innovative technologies. The design phase of this project utilized CA4PRS analysis to optimize construction staging plans and Dynameq to characterize traffic flow during construction and rehabilitation activities. Also, a road safety audit was performed in the early stages of the construction to critically examine safety considerations in various design and planning elements.

This report documents the details of this project, including a description of the applied PCPS technology and its design, construction staging techniques and maintenance of traffic, slab installation, and performance evaluations and economic analysis. This report also contains other items relevant to HfL projects, including a description of HfL goals, technology transfer activities on the project, and a detailed analysis of data to evaluate if the HfL goals were satisfied.

This project serves as a great example of the successful use of multiple innovations on a large scale project. The project also demonstrates the key factors for success: vast breadth of knowledge and expertise required, the importance of planning and attention to details, and the significance of good communication across various divisions within an agency. Specifically, in the case of PCPS, this project achieved tremendously high production rates for slab installations in nighttime work windows. Besides the initial trial installations behind k-rails, all PCPS installations performed in nighttime work windows did not require closure of more than 2 lanes, which was compensated with the addition of two median lanes in the project. Given the construction staging plans and the lane closure patterns, the economic analysis shows no significant cost implications due to the use of PCPS technology for slab replacement.

17. Key Words
Highways for LIFE, precast concrete pavement system, PCPS, Super-Slab®
18. Distribution Statement

No restriction. This document is available to the public through the Highways for LIFE website:

19. Security Classif. (of this page)
20. No. of Pages
21. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
ft feet 0.305 meters m m meters 3.28 feet ft
yd yards 0.914 meters m m meters 1.09 yards yd
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2 mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2 m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
yd2 square yards 0.836 square meters m2 m2 square meters 1.195 square yards ac
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha ha hectares 2.47 acres mi2
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2 km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters ml ml milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
gal gallons 3.785 liters l l liters 0.264 gallons gal
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 35.71 cubic feet ft3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yard yd3
NOTE: Volumes greater than 1000 l shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g g grams 0.035 ounces oz
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams Mg Mg megagrams 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees) TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5(F–32)/9 or (F–32)/1.8 Celcius °C °C Celsius 1.8C +32 Fahrenheit °F
fc foot–candles 10.76 lux l lx lux 0.0929 foot–candles fc
fl foot–Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2 cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot–Lamberts fl
lbg pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lb/in2 pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch ib/in2(psi)
k/in2 klps per square inch 6.89 megaPascals mPa MPa megaPascals 0.145 klps per square inch k/in2(ips)
ib/ft3(pcf) pounds per cubic foot 16.02 kilograms per cubic meter kg/m3 kg/m3 pounds per cubic foot 0.062 kilograms per cubic meter ib/ft3(pcf)


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE (HfL) Team Leader Byron Lord and Program Coordinators Mary Huie and Kathleen Bergeron, who served as the technical panel on this demonstration project. Their vast knowledge of and experience with the various aspects of construction, technology deployment, and technology transfer helped immensely in developing both the approach and the technical matter for this document. Also, Steve Healow and Tay Dam of the FHWA California Division helped coordinate the project team’s communication and interaction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

The authors also thank Caltrans District 8 staff for providing the necessary support for monitoring this project. Project Designer Jonathan den Hartog was the point of contact for all information critical to the development of this report, including information on design and the innovative technologies adopted on this project. den Hartog also provided design drawings, several relevant reports, photographs, and slides pertinent to the report. Resident Engineer Nahro Saoud was the point of contact for key field-related information.

Table of Contents

Figure 1. Project location. (Courtesy Caltrans, Google™
Figure 2. As-built lane use plan
Figure 3. Contraflow lane use plan
Figure 4. CSOL lane use plan
Figure 5. Segment of project that used PCPS for slab replacement. (Source: Google Maps)
Figure 6. Alignment of roadway that received PCPS slab installation, with horizontal and vertical curves included in the alignment
Figure 7. View of the outer lanes of northbound I-15 just before the I-10 overpass
Figure 8. Typical plan details for Super-Slab®
Figure 9. Epoxy-coated steel reinforcement is shown in a typical panel layout
Figure 10. Workers use a roller-type screed to level the panels
Figure 11. Longitudinally textured surface of a freshly made panel
Figure 12. Underside of a panel. Note the gaskets, dowel pockets, and grooves for the bedding grout
Figure 13. Underside of a panel. Note dowels bar and tie bar pockets
Figure 14. Existing panels were removed in manageable pieces
Figure 15. A milling machine is used to level the CTB as needed
Figure 16. Workers use a track-mounted screed to level the base
Figure 17. A panel is set in place
Figure 18. Grouting operation
Figure 19. Finished PCPS
Figure 20. Cracked panel and core
Figure 21. I-15 and I-10 ramp closure analysis region
Figure 22. OBSI dual probe system and the SRTT
Figure 23. Mean A-weighted SI frequency spectra before and after construction
Figure 24. High-speed inertial profiler mounted behind the test vehicle
Figure 25. Mean IRI values before and after construction
Figure 26. Project showcase event announcement and invitation
Figure 27. Presenters at the HfL showcase.
Figure 28. Participants in the workshop conducted as part of the HfL showcase
Figure 29. Site visits during the HfL showcase included I-15 PCPS installation site (top) and precast plant (bottom)
Table 1. Traffic data on I-15 from Route 60 to I-10
Table 2. Traffic data on I-15 from I-10 to Route 60.
Table 3. CA4PRS alternate comparison (estimated dollar values shown)
Table 4. Mix design proportions for the PCC used in the PCPS
Table 5. PCC mix design information in the project where accelerated strength development was critical
Table 6. Risk rating as a combination of severity and frequency of crash (Gibbs, 2008)
Table 7. RSA recommendations and Caltrans’ response to each safety issue identified
Table 8. Summary of PCPS panel installations by day
Table 9. Breakdown of the type and amount of crashes before construction
Table 10. Breakdown of the type and amount of crashes during construction
Table 11. Summary of distances and speeds on route segments in analysis region
Table 12. Saturday travel time comparisons for NB I-15 to WB I-10
Table 13. Sunday travel time comparisons for NB I-15 to WB I-10
Table 14. Saturday travel time comparisons for NB I-15 to EB I-10
Table 15. Sunday travel time comparisons for NB I-15 to EB I-10
Table 16. Additional travel distance and delays incurred
Table 17. Analysis scenarios
Table 18. Agency costs
Table 19. Pre-construction and during construction crash counts
Table 20. Pre-construction and during construction crash rates
Table 21. Unit comprehensive crash costs estimated for this project
Table 22. Work zone road user costs for LCCA
Table 23. Case A: total project costs
Table 24. Case B: panel replacement costs
Abbreviations and Symbols
AADT annual average daily traffic
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ADT average daily traffic
dB(A) A-weighted decibel
CTB cement-treated base
DOT department of transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HfL Highways for LIFE
IRI International Roughness Index
LCCA life cycle cost analysis
ITS intelligent transportation system
M&R maintenance and rehabilitation
MVMT million vehicle-miles traveled
NPV net present value
OBSI onboard sound intensity
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PCC portland cement concrete
PCPS precast concrete pavement system
PHV peak hour volume
RSA road safety audit
RUC road user cost
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SI sound intensity
SRTT standard reference test tire
TRB Transportation Research Board
VOC vehicle operating cost
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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

Updated: 11/28/2012

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration