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Subject: ACTION: Surface Finishing of Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) Date: November 1, 1995
From: Director, Office of Engineering Refer To: HNG-42
To: Regional Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Program Administrator

The purpose of this memorandum is to reaffirm the FHWA's position on the surface finishing of portland cement concrete pavements established in the late 1960's. However, the implementation guidance provided by Mr. Leather's July 24, 1984, memorandum regarding "Kansas Proposal to Eliminate Tining on PCC Pavements" and the December 19, 1984, memorandum regarding "Wyoming Supplemental Specifications for Deck and Slab Final Finish," (previously given national distribution), is modified to allow State highway agencies to select transverse or longitudinal tining or other surface texture techniques which meets the policy and is supported by quantifiable data. Recently, there has been considerable discussion on the appropriate methods for finishing PCCP. Much of this discussion has focused on the tire/pavement noise issue and our past recommendations on the almost exclusive use of transverse tining on highways with speed limits of 65 km/in or greater.

It continues to be FHWA policy that pavement surfaces provided on federally aided highway projects have a skid resistant surface. This regulatory requirement is stated in Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 500.205:

"Pavements shall be designed to accommodate current and predicted traffic needs in a safe, durable, and cost-effective manner."

The highway agency is responsible for specifying a surface finishing technique, which based on past experience or current research, will provide a skid resistant surface. The following citations to publications, considered by the FHWA to provide valuable information in attaining good design, are listed in 23 CFR 625.5:

Skid Accident Reduction Program, T5040.17, FHWA December 23. 1980, and

Guidelines for Skid Resistant Pavement Design, AASHTO 1976.

A joint State, industry, and FHWA PCC Surface Texture Technical Working Group (TWG) has been studying the surface finishing techniques for PCCP. A final report of the TWG is expected to be completed by the end of 1995.

Attached is a copy of the Preliminary Summary of the TWG's findings. It provides additional general guidance based on an evaluation of experimental sections constructed in the United States and research or experimental sections in Europe, South Africa, and Australia. The Preliminary Summary provides guidelines for constructing transverse and longitudinally tined or plastic brushed pavements and exposed aggregate treatments.

The Pavement Division is available to discuss application of these guidelines to meet the needs of the various highway agencies. Please contact Messrs. John Hallin, Roger Larson, or Brad Hibbs at 202-366-0327 for assistance.

William A. Weseman


This page last modified on 11/20/06

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration