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Highways for LIFE

Arrow Utah Demonstration Project: Precast Concrete Pavement System on I-215

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Draft Final Report September 2012

Table of Contents

Screen shot: Utah Demonstration Project: Precast Concrete Pavement System on I-215 Cover

Figure 1. Location of project on I-215 southeast of Salt Lake City.
Figure 2. Project location and plan on southbound I-215.
Figure 3. Southbound project view showing three lanes, merge area, and shoulder.
Figure 4. Shattered slabs with longitudinal and transverse cracking on I-215.
Figure 5. High-severity spalling and polishing of PCC surface on I-215.
Figure 6. High-severity cracks and spalls on the on-ramp slabs on I-215.
Figure 7. Severely deteriorated cracks and spalls filled with HMA on I-215.
Figure 8. Transverse view and side view showing the PCPS slab panels to be placed.
Figure 9. Typical plan view and section view for 12-ft × 12-ft panels.
Figure 10. Typical plan view and section view for 6-ft × 12-ft panels.
Figure 11. Load transfer device details.
Figure 12. Lifting device details.
Figure 13. Leveling bolt detail.
Figure 14. Completed form ready for concrete pour.
Figure 15. Pouring concrete in form to precast the panel.
Figure 16. Removal of grout tube and bolt locator jigs.
Figure 17. Finished top of precast panel ready for curing.
Figure 18. Removal of existing deteriorated pavement (lane 3).
Figure 19. Hauling of existing pavement (lane 3).
Figure 20. Placing and compacting the base course fill material.
Figure 21. Leveling plates placed directly on top of the compacted base.
Figure 22. Placement of precast panel on the prepared base.
Figure 23. Steering precast panel into place onto the prepared base.
Figure 24. Cutting panels to 1- to 1.5-in taper to account for horizontal curvature of existing roadway.
Figure 25. Leveling bolts used to level the panels on the leveling plates.
Figure 26. Panels leveled using leveling bolts to within final grade tolerance of 0.25 in.
Figure 27. Placing preformed strip seal to contain grout.
Figure 28. Urethane grout injected through the grout injection hole.
Figure 29. Urethane grout injection closeup.
Figure 30. Placement of dowel bars into dowel slot.
Figure 31. Transverse joint with grout-filled dowel bar slots.
Figure 32. Placed panels and project open to traffic before diamond grinding for ride quality.
Figure 33. Average speeds southbound at sensor station 105, milepost 26.8.
Figure 34. Average speeds southbound at sensor station 108, milepost 25.8.
Figure 35. Average speeds southbound at sensor station 112, milepost 24.4.
Figure 36. Average speeds southbound at sensor station 115, milepost 23.5.
Figure 37. Average speeds southbound at sensor station 119, milepost 22.8.
Figure 38. Hourly volumes southbound on I-215, weekdays.
Figure 39. Average per-vehicle delays that would have resulted from long-term lane closures on I-215.
Figure 40. OBSI dual probe system and the SRTT.
Figure 41. Mean A-weighted sound intensity frequency spectra before and after construction.
Figure 42. High-speed inertial profiler mounted behind the test vehicle.
Figure 43. Mean IRI values before and after construction


Table 1. Nightly activity schedule.
Table 2. Potential daily vehicle delays during long-term lane closures, I-215 southbound


Abbreviations and Symbols
APC accelerated pavement construction
dB(A) A-weighted decibel
DOT department of transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HfL Highways for LIFE
HPC high performance concrete
HMA hot-mix asphalt
IRI International Roughness Index
OBSI onboard sound intensity
PCPS precast concrete pavement system
PCC portland cement concrete
SI sound intensity
SRTT standard reference test tire
UDOT Utah Department of Transportation
vpd vehicles per day


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
Utah Demonstration Project: Precast Concrete Pavement System on I-215
5. Report Date
September 2012
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Shreenath Rao, Jagannath Mallela, and Paul Littleton
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 Final Report
June 2011–September 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 Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) was awarded a $750,000 grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative precast concrete pavement system (PCPS) technology to deliver this project in less time and with less impact on motorists than conventional construction.

This report details the PCPS innovations used to replace the existing deteriorated concrete pavement during 7- to 10-hour nighttime lane closures. Traditional construction practices of cast-in-place full-depth repairs would have required closures of 7 to 10 days, greatly impacting traffic during peak hours on this urban belt route. Traditional construction practices would have resulted in delays of 3,608 vehicle-hours with one-lane closure and 122,704 vehicle-hours with two-lane closures per day on Monday through Thursday and 1,255 vehicle-hours with one-lane closure and 106,820 vehicle-hours with two-lane closures on Friday. Using PCPS and nighttime construction reduced vehicle-hours of delay to zero.

UDOT learned several valuable lessons on rehabilitation using PCPS. The project was completed with minimal disruption to the traveling public, improved worker and work zone safety, and substantial reduction in construction time that affected traffic. The experience gained on this successful project will help UDOT refine its accelerated pavement construction processes and use them in other situations where traffic impacts are a major concern.
17. Key Words
Highways for LIFE, precast concrete pavement system (PCPS), accelerated pavement construction (APC), pavement rehabilitation, rigid pavements, prefabricated elements
18. Distribution Statement

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

Security Classif.(of this report) Unclassified 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
(none) mil 25.4 micrometers μm μm micrometers 0.039 mil (none)
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
lbf pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lbf/in2 (psi) pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2(psi)
k/in2 ksi klps per square inch 6.89 megaPascals mPa MPa megaPascals 0.145 klps per square inch k/in2(ips)
ib/ft2(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)

*SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380. (Revised March 2003)


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE 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 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. The team also is indebted to Utah Department of Transportation Engineer John Montoya and FHWA Engineer Russell Robertson for their advice and assistance during this project.

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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

Updated: 05/30/2013

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration