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Publication Number: FHWA-04-044
Date: February 2004

Incremental Costs and Performance Benefits of Various Features of Concrete Pavements

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FOREWORD

The primary product developed under this study is a software analysis tool that can evaluate the relative costs and performance benefits associated with adding different features to a portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement design. The tool is for pavement designers who are interested in comparing costs versus performance associated with the selection of design features during the PCC pavement design process. This software is only a computational tool. It is not intended to provide absolute answers on the effect of different design features, but rather to offer insight into general cost and performance trends associated with the use of different design features. As such, it also may be of use to State and contractor engineers responsible for fulfilling the design, as well as to educators and students who wish to better understand the PCC pavement design process and its impact on construction costs and pavement performance.

Sufficient copies of this report are being distributed to provide 10 copies to each Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Center, 4 copies to each FHWA Division, and a minimum of 4 copies to each State highway agency. Direct distribution is being made to the division offices for them to forward to the State highway agencies. Additional copies for the public are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161.

Paul Teng, Director

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development

Notice

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 the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

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

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Incremental Costs and Performance Benefits of Various Features of Concrete Pavements

5. Report Date

February 2004

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

T. E. Hoerner, K. D. Smith, and J. E. Bruinsma

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.
3001 Research Road, Suite C
Champaign, IL 61822

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-02-P-00412

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Office of Acquisition Management
400 Seventh Street, SW, Room 4410
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final
November 2000 - March 2003

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA COTR: Mr. Peter Kopac, HRDI-11
Mr. John Naughton is gratefully acknowledged for his contributions to the project.

16. Abstract

Various design features (such as dowel bars, tied shoulders, or drainable bases) may be added to a PCC pavement design to improve its overall performance by maintaining a higher level of serviceability or by extending its service life. However, the addition of these features also increases the initial cost of the pavement design, in some cases quite significantly.This then raises the question as to whether the improved performance benefits gained by adding the design features are worth the increase in cost. Furthermore, the effects of adding more and more design features to a PCC pavement design may produce smaller and smaller performance gains, while significantly increasing the overall costs of the pavement structure. Unfortunately, current design practices do not always consider this trade-off between performance benefits and costs when design features are added to a PCC pavement design.

This report presents a methodology for quickly assessing the relative costs and benefits of incorporating various design features in PCC pavements. That methodology has been incorporated into an analytical software tool that can be used by pavement design engineers who are interested in investigating the cost versus performance trade-offs associated with the selection of different design features during the PCC pavement design process. The tool is not intended to provide absolute answers on the effect of different design features, but rather to provide insight into general performance and cost trends associated with the use of those design features.

 

17. Key Words

concrete pavement, rigid pavement, design features, pavement performance, costs, cost effectiveness

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

210

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

  Introduction
  Project Objectives
  Overview of Report

CHAPTER 2. DATA COLLECTION ACTIVITIES

  Introduction
  Literature Review
  Questionnaire Survey Development
    Design Categories and Alternative Design Features
    Desired Number of Survey Responses
    Questionnaire Survey Forms
  SHA Performance Questionnaire Survey
  Performance Model Evaluation
  SHA Design Category Ranking Survey
  Contractor Cost Questionnaire Survey
  Summary

CHAPTER 3. ANALYSIS METHOD

  Introduction
  Components of the Analysis Approach
    Definition of a Pavement Section
    The Standard Pavement Section
    Cost and Performance Data
    Category Ranking Factors
    Simplistic Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
  Demonstration of the Analysis Method
    Comparing a Custom Pavement Section to the Standard pavement Section
    Comparison of Two Custom Pavement Sections (Section A vs. Section B)
  Introduction to the Analytical Software Tool
  Summary

CHAPTER 4. SUMMARY

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

  Base/Subbase Design
  Concrete Mix Considerations
  Construction
  Costs
  Cross Section
  Design and Performance
  Drainage
  Joint Design
  Maintenance
  Reinforcement
  Ride Specifications
  Shoulder Design and Performance
  Subgrade
  Surface Texture and Noise

APPENDIX B. QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY FORMS

APPENDIX C. SUMMARY OF DATA COLLECTION RESPONSES

APPENDIX D. SOFTWARE USER'S GUIDE

  Section 1. Introduction
    Software Capabilities
    Software Structure

  Section 2. Getting Started
    System Requirements and Recommendations
  Software Installation
  What You See When You Start the Analysis Software
    Menu Bar
    Toolbar Buttons

  Section 3. Defining Pavement Sections
    The Default Standard Pavement Section
  Defining Pavement Sections with the Section Definition Tab
    Pavement Section Master List Area
    Variables Secondary Tab
    Life-Cycle Costs Secondary Tab

  Section 4. Cost and Performance Data Sets
    Grouped Versus Tabular Format
    Grouped Format
    Tabular Format
  Defining Cost Data Sets
    Example 1: Expected Relative Costs Associated with Different Base/Subbase Types
    Example 2: Expected Relative Costs Associated with Different Initial/Smoothness Levels
  Defining Performance Data Sets
    Example 1: Expected Relative Performance Associated with Different Base/Subbase Types
    Example 2: Expected Relative Performance Values Associated with Different Initial/Smoothness Levels

  Section 5. Defining Category Ranking Factor Sets
    Introduction to the Category Rankings Tab
    Category Rankings Set Master List Area
    Category Ranking Set Details Area
  Defining Category Ranking Sets

  Section 6. Analysis Session Setup
    Introduction to the Analysis Setup Tab
    Choosing an Analysis Type 192
    Direct Comparison Analyses
    Sensitivity Analysis Sessions
  Defining Direct Comparison Analysis Sessions
    Changing the Name of the Direct Comparison Analysis Session
    Defining the First Pavement Section (Section A)
    Defining the Second Pavement Section (Section B)
    Selection of Other Settings
    Additional Information Area
  Defining Sensitivity Analysis Sessions
    Changing the Name of the Sensitivity Analysis Session
    Selecting a Principal Pavement Section To Be Used as the Basis of the Sensitivity Analysis Session
    Define the Type and Parameters of the Sensitivity Analysis Session
    Selection of Fixed Settings
    Additional Information Area

  Section 7. Analysis Session Results
    Viewing Direct Comparison Analysis Results
    Direct Comparison Analysis-Full Report
    Direct Comparison Analysis-Basic Tables Only
    Viewing Sensitivity Analysis Session Results
    Sensitivity Analysis-Detailed Results Report
    Sensitivity Analysis-Simplified Output Report

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Design feature benefits
Figure 2. Software main window with the Introduction tab displayed
Figure 3. Contents of the File menu
Figure 4. Section Definition tab with the Variables secondary tab displayed
Figure 5. Example of the Import pop-up dialog box
Figure 6. Section Definition tab with the Life-Cycle Costs secondary tab displayed
Figure 7. Global Life-Cycle Cost Parameters pop-up dialog box
Figure 8. Cost/Performance Data Sets tab with the Grouped Format controls for the Cost Data Sets secondary tab visible
Figure 9. Cost/Performance Data Sets tab with the Tabular Format controls for the Cost Data Sets secondary tab visible
Figure 10. Example of using the provided custom design feature fields to reflect an agency's custom design features
Figure 11. Example showing chosen relative cost values associated with a 150-mm (6-inch) dense-graded asphalt-treated base
Figure 12. Example showing defined relative performance values associated with different base type choices
Figure 13. Example showing defined relative performance values associated with different initial smoothness choices
Figure 14. Category Rankings tab
Figure 15. Example of the Analysis Setup tab
Figure 16. Example of the Direct Comparison analysis session setup dialog box
Figure 17. Example of the Sensitivity Analysis session setup dialog box
Figure 18. Example of a Sensitivity Analysis session comparing both cost and performance data sets
Figure 19. Example of a Full Report summary resulting from a Direct Comparison analysis 200
Figure 20. Example of the Basic Tables Only output report resulting from a Direct Comparison analysis
Figure 21. Example of a Detailed Results summary table output resulting from a Sensitivity Analysis session

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Summary of the required number of samples for performance questionnaires
Table 2. Summary of the required number of samples for relative cost questionnaires
Table 3. Summary of performance ratings
Table 4. PCC pavement performance models used to evaluate effect of design features
Table 5. Details of the recommended category ranking factor set
Table 6. Summary of contractor initial cost ratings
Table 7. Pavement design features defining the Standard pavement section
Table 8. Example of use of category ranking factors to determine an overall modified performance rating
Table 9. Example showing the matching of category ranking factors and performance
Table 10. Example showing a contradiction in the matching of category ranking factors and performance
Table 11. Design features that differ in the current example
Table 12. Expected percent changes in cost and performance associated with the changed design features
Table 13. Cost and performance computation example
Table 14. Summary of two custom sections being compared (Section A and Section B)
Table 15. Expected percent changes in cost and performance associated with the changed design features of Section B
Table 16. Computation details associated with the changed design features of Section B
Table 17. Summary of comparisons of Sections A and B to the Standard pavement section
Table 18. Raw data and summary of agency (performance) surveys
Table 19. Raw data and summary of contractor (cost) surveys
Table 20. Available design features organized by design feature category
Table 21. Unique set of pavement design features defining the Standard pavement section
Table 22. Summary of Subgrade, Base/Subbase, Drainage dependency
Table 23. Summary of Thickness/Slab Size, Cross Section, Joints/Load Transfer, Joint Sealing dependency
Table 24. Details of the default ranking factor set
Table 25. Example computations using entered category ranking factors

 

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