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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-070
Date: July 2012

 

Long-Term Plan for Concrete Pavement Research and Technology— The Concrete Pavement Road Map (Second Generation): Volume II, Tracks

TRACK 9. EVALUATION, MONITORING, AND STRATEGIES FOR LONG-LIFE CONCRETE PAVEMENT

TRACK 9 OVERVIEW

Long-life pavements are needed to handle the congestion and traffic loading that pavements will experience in their lifetime. To meet a 30-year calendar design life, a pavement built today may need 70–100 percent more axle loads per mile than a similar pavement built 10 years ago.

One method for evaluating the performance of a particular pavement design is through accelerated loading at test tracks or ALFs. ALFs provide valuable performance data that allow engineers to improve current procedures and advance the state of the art. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, many new accelerated testing programs with ALFs were installed. ALFs encourage innovation by eliminating the fear of failure associated with full-scale road testing, since ALFs can test innovations without the possibility of disastrous consequences that might occur on a real highway. ALFs also provide small-scale evaluation of full-scale designs to identify limitations and speed up the implementation of design improvements. At least 24 ALFs currently operate in the United States.

Data collection methods for monitoring test roads and in-service pavements can be developed and expanded further. Continuously monitoring pavement performance will help improve concrete pavement design procedures, construction standards and specifications, and rehabilitation techniques. Developing a performance feedback loop to provide continuous condition reports will allow prompt improvements to existing pavements that fall short of user needs. Additional data are also needed for new materials, new test sections, model validation and calibration, innovative joint designs, and surface characteristics advancements. This data can contribute to many of the research tracks in the CP Road Map, which depend on quality data for validation or calibration and require experimental installations or access to long-term data from in-service pavements.

The following research areas are needed to design, build, evaluate, and monitor long-life pavements:

Track 9 Goal

The problem statements in this track will identify both conventional and innovative pavement types, design features, foundations, materials, construction QC/QA, and preservation treatments that will provide the traveling public with a long-life concrete pavement requiring minimal lane closures for maintenance or rehabilitation over the design life.

Track 9 Objectives

The track 9 objectives are as follows:

  1. Develop ways to collect real-time data on concrete pavement conditions using a combination of embedded electronics, high-speed assessment equipment, traffic measurement devices, and performance prediction equations.

  2. Develop clear and detailed definitions of long life pavements, including information about warrants, required maintenance, a range of low- to high-traffic roadways, and other information.

  3. Identify pavement strategies (design, foundation, restoration, and rehabilitation) for long life.

  4. Identify design and foundation features that are likely to result in long-life concrete pavements.

  5. Identify restoration treatments for preserving long-life concrete pavements.

  6. Identify concrete and other material tests and requirements for long-life pavements.

  7. Identify QC/QA procedures that will ensure quality long-life pavement construction.

  8. Construct test highways of the most promising concrete pavement types that include design features, foundations, materials, construction QC/QA, and preservation treatments that will ensure long-life concrete pavements.

  9. Develop an ALF and full-scale test road program for collecting materials, design, traffic, climate, and performance data from existing and future experimental pavements.

  10. Establish reliable experimental testing programs along with testing protocols for ALFs and test road programs that include durability testing for materials and design.

  11. Collect and analyze relevant test database programs that support the CP Road Map.

Track 9 Research Gaps

The track 9 research gaps are as follows:

Track 9 Research Challenges

The track 9 research challenges are as follows:

Research Track 9 Estimated Costs

Table 49 shows the estimated costs for this research track.

Table 49. Research track 9 estimated costs.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost
Subtrack 9-1. Technologies for Measuring Concrete Pavement Performance
9-1-1. Stress-Sensing Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000
9-1-2. Self-Inspecting Smart Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000
9-1-3. Rolling Wheel Deflectometer for Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000
Subtrack 9-2. Strategies for Long-Life Concrete Pavements
9-2-1. Identifying Long-Life Concrete Pavement Types, Design Features, Foundations, and Rehabilitation/Maintenance Strategies $800,000–$1.2 million
9-2-2. Design Catalog for Long-Life Concrete Pavements $500,000–$1 million
9-2-3. Strategic Application of Preservation Treatments to Preserve Long-Life Concrete Pavement $500,000–$700,000
Subtrack 9-3. Construction Techniques and Materials Selection for Long-Life Concrete Pavements and Overlays
9-3-1. Development of Quality Control/Quality Assurance Testing Standards to Ensure Long-Life Concrete Pavements $500,000–$600,000
9-3-2. Identification of Material Requirements and Tests for Long-Life Concrete Pavements $1–$1.5 million
9-3-3. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Experimental Long-Life Concrete Pavements $3–$5 million
9-3-4. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Concrete Overlays $3–$5 million
Subtrack 9-4. Planning and Design of Accelerated Loading and Long-Term Data Collection
9-4-1. Identification of Accelerated and Long-Term Data Needs $750,000–$1.5 million
9-4-2. Concrete Pavement Data Management and Distribution $800,000–$1.2 million
9-4-3. Master Plan for Conducting Accelerated Testing of Products and Full-Scale Road Experiments $900,000–$1.5 million
9-4-4. Develop Experimental Designs and a Data Collection and Performance Monitoring Plan for Accelerated Loading Facilities and Full-Scale Products Testing $800,000–$1.5 million
9-4-5. Concrete Pavement Rating System for Highways $200,000–$400,000
Subtrack 9-5. Preparation of Data Collection/Testing Procedures and Construction of Test Road
9-5-1. Preparation of Concrete Pavement Data Collection and Testing Procedures $500,000–$1 million
9-5-2. Construction of Accelerated Loading Sections and Test Road Sections $4.8–$7.2 million
Subtrack 9-6. Long-Life Concrete Pavement Performance Implementation
9-6-1. Implementation of Long-Life Concrete Pavements $800,000–$1.2 million
9-6-2. Implementation of Accelerated Loading and Long-Term Data Collection $800,000–$1.2 million
Total $21.2–$34.0 million

Track 9 Organization: Subtracks and Problem Statements

Track 9 problem statements are grouped into the following six subtracks:

Each subtrack is introduced by a brief summary of the subtrack’s focus and a table listing the titles, estimated costs, products, and benefits of each problem statement in the subtrack. The problem statements follow.

SUBTRACK 9-1. TECHNOLOGIES FOR MEASURING CONCRETE PAVEMENT PERFORMANCE

This subtrack will develop and evaluate new technologies for measuring concrete pavement performance. Table 50 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 50. Subtrack 9-1 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-1-1. Stress-Sensing Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000 Evaluation of stress-sensing monitors that record actual wheel-load stresses over concrete pavement life. Measurement of actual wheel-load stresses over concrete pavement life.
9-1-2. Self-Inspecting Smart Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000 Evaluation of potential smart sensing and communicating technologies that could be integrated into the concept of self-inspecting concrete pavements. Smart and self-inspecting concrete pavements.
9-1-3. Rolling Wheel Deflectometer for Concrete Pavements $500,000–$750,000 A rolling wheel deflectometer that can be operated at various speeds and addresses specific concrete pavement technology issues. Assessment of pavement condition using a rolling wheel deflectometer at operating speed.

Problem Statement 9-1-1. Stress-Sensing Concrete Pavements

When concrete pavements are designed, fatigue damage is anticipated by estimating the total number of all weights and types of axle loads that the pavement will experience over its lifetime. Weigh-in-motion sites are often unavailable; however, fully measuring the number and weight of axle loads that the pavement actually experiences over its lifetime is nearly impossible. Overweight trucks are known to damage a pavement more significantly than trucks with legal axle weights, but special permit trucks with heavier than legal weights are allowed to use the pavement.

This problem statement will investigate the viability of stress-sensing pavements that can measure and log wheel load stresses over the pavement life. Stress can be measured indirectly through instantaneous strain or deflection under a wheel load. Pavement stresses from environmental loading also can be measured. This stress-sensing technology can lead to smart pavements that predict remaining pavement life or time until rehabilitation. The technology will also provide better information to pavement designers about when and how to design a rehabilitation alternative.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify sensors that can be used for stress-sensing pavement. These sensors will operate by measuring strain, pressure, deflection, or other factors.

  2. Conduct small-scale laboratory or field tests to determine the reliability, durability, and economics of these sensors.

  3. Develop methods for remotely monitoring these sensors.

  4. Incorporate sensors into a pilot project and evaluate sensor performance.

  5. Develop recommendations and/or specifications for large-scale deployment of this technology on new paving projects.

Benefits: Measurement of actual wheel load stresses over concrete pavement life.

Products: Evaluation of stress-sensing monitors that record actual wheel load stresses over concrete pavement life.

Implementation: This research will provide the groundwork for additional research into other sensing and self-inspecting concepts, such as that in problem statement 9-1-2.

Problem Statement 9-1-2. Self-Inspecting Smart Concrete Pavements

This problem statement will investigate the viability of a pavement that is capable of continuously and remotely monitoring key behaviors that ultimately can be tied to structural or functional degradation. For example, embedded sensors can be used to monitor load (stresses or strains), compressive stress buildup over time (blowups), climatic changes (temperature and moisture), and deflections (joint LTE, joint faulting, and corner deflection). This smart pavement concept will benefit the industry in a number of ways. For example, critical events such as an overloaded vehicle or a climatic anomaly can be detected. Potential blowups can be detected long before the probability of one is significant, so that action can be taken to relieve the pressure. In addition, the collected data can help improve concrete pavement design, construction, and maintenance continuously and establish more rational performance standards for concrete paving.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify sensors that can monitor pavement performance or key variables that affect pavement performance.

  2. Determine the effect of these key variables on pavement performance and the threshold values for these variables.

  3. Conduct laboratory or small-scale field tests to determine the reliability, durability, and economics of these sensors, using accelerated load testing to accelerated pavement distress.

  4. Develop recommendations and/or specifications for deploying this technology on new paving projects.

Benefits: Smart and self-inspecting concrete pavements.

Products: Evaluation of potential smart sensing and communicating technologies that could be integrated into the concept of self-inspecting concrete pavements.

Implementation: This research may require a preceding investigation of available sensors (see problem statement 9-1-1), which may in turn lead to more long-range research efforts.

Problem Statement 9-1-3. Rolling Wheel Deflectometer for Concrete Pavements

Operating speed deflection testing equipment that determines deflections in concrete pavements is missing from today’s pavement condition assessments. System-wide deflection data are the missing component of a network analysis method that requires IRI, distress survey, climatic, and traffic data to understand pavement performance fully and evaluate pavement rehabilitation strategies adequately.

The currently used falling weight deflectometer (FWD) test can perform individual test setups, but gaining access to busy roadways during the peak measurement times is becoming increasingly difficult. FHWA is developing a rolling deflectometer based on laser technology but has yet to prove the concept sufficiently for concrete pavements. The rolling dynamic deflectometer at the University of Texas has produced excellent data, but it is only a prototype and moves at 1.5 mi/h. This research will evaluate prototype defection equipment at various operating speed capabilities.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Conduct a full literature search of current deflection equipment sorted by speed of operation.

  2. Evaluate the potential for the FHWA rolling deflectometer device to produce data for concrete pavements.

  3. Determine other suitable deflection techniques rated by operating speed.

  4. Determine the best deflection technique for further development and evaluation.

  5. Determine ways to produce repeatable results from this deflection equipment, connect them back to FWD measurements, and develop procedures that could be used to determine remaining pavement life.

  6. Develop a long-term implementation strategy for promising deflection prototype devices.

Benefits: Assessment of pavement condition using a rolling wheel deflectometer at
operating speed.

Products: A rolling wheel deflectometer that can be operated at various speeds and addresses specific concrete pavement technology issues.

Implementation: This work will result in a long-term implementation strategy for promising deflection prototype devices. While this technology should operate at typical highway speeds, devices that operate at lower speeds will be evaluated due to the unique concrete pavement response issues.

SUBTRACK 9-2. STRATEGIES FOR LONG-LIFE CONCRETE PAVEMENTS

This subtrack structures the approach to long-life pavements from the strategic approaches to the design catalogs. The problem statements in this subtrack rely on the work conducted under track 2. Table 51 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 51. Subtrack 9-2 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-2-1. Identifying Long-Life Concrete Pavement Types, Design Features, Foundations, and Rehabilitation/ Maintenance Strategies $800,000–$1.2 million Feasible pavement strategies and promising features for providing long life for each type of concrete pavement selected and case studies of past long-life concrete pavements. Feasible pavement strategies for providing long life that will provide input throughout track 8.
9-2-2. Design Catalog for Long- Life Concrete Pavements $500,000–$1 million An interim design catalog of long-life pavement designs (produced within 2 years of starting) and contents that will be updated as more information obtained from research activities under this track becomes available. A catalog of long-life pavement designs that will provide practicing engineers with the tools for designing long-life cost-effective pavements with minimal restoration and rehabilitation.
9-2-3. Strategic Application of Preservation Treatments to Preserve Long-Life Concrete Pavement $500,000–$700,000 Recommendations on the type, design, construction, and optimum application timing of restoration or rehabilitation treatments for extending pavements service life or indefinitely preserving the original pavement structure. Recommendations on the optimum application
timing of restoration or rehabilitation treatments that will extend pavement service life or indefinitely preserve the original pavement structure and a tool for practicing engineers to use in designing long-life cost-effective concrete pavements with minimal restoration.

Problem Statement 9-2-1. Identifying Long-Life Concrete Pavement Types, Design Features, Foundations, and Rehabilitation/Maintenance Strategies

This research will identify both conventional and innovative pavement types likely to provide a long life, including an evaluation of the advantages and limitations of different pavement designs for long-life applications and the possible preservation strategies for each pavement type. With certain pavement types, pavement service life may be significantly extended through preservation treatments, although in some design situations, any major pavement treatment within a certain period may be unacceptable. Examples of promising design features include continuous reinforcement, widened slabs, stabilized base, positive subdrainage, large-diameter dowel bars, and uniform and stable foundations. This research will investigate various means of satisfying the long-life pavement goals, considering the entire pavement life cycle and including rehabilitations where appropriate. Site conditions, such as traffic level, subgrade properties, climate, and local aggregate and material properties, significantly affect pavement performance, and feasible pavement strategies will be identified in light of such factors.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Evaluate existing concrete pavements that claim to be long life (those currently in design by States, those in-service, and those that have been previously rehabilitated including existing high-performance concrete sites).

  2. Identify concrete pavement design features that lend themselves to good LTPP and lower the risk of poor performance (e.g., continuous reinforcement, widened slabs, stabilized base, and large-diameter dowel bars).

  3. Evaluate the effects of the design features identified under task 1 on LTPP and develop a short list of design features that significantly affect LTPP. Use existing survival curves in these studies where available.

  4. Identify both conventional and innovative pavement types likely to provide long life. Consider the following:

    • Full-depth concrete for new construction.

    • Concrete overlay rehabilitation.

    • No foundation rehabilitation.

    • No pavement intrusion over its lifespan.

    • Additional thin concrete surfacing on the top.

    • Staged concrete over concrete construction that does not change the foundation.

  5. Identify the various means of satisfying the long-life pavement goals by considering the entire pavement life cycle (including restorations and rehabilitations where appropriate) and maintenance done to the joint and considering that site conditions (i.e., traffic level, subgrade properties, climate, and local aggregate) significantly affect pavement performance. Consider environmental sustainability.

  6. For each pavement type identified under task 1, evaluate advantages and limitations for the long-life applications including the factors identified in task 2 such as evaluating possible rehabilitation strategies for each pavement type, life-cycle cost, etc.

  7. Determine promising pavement types and strategies for providing long life based on the results of tasks 1 through 3.

Benefits: Feasible pavement strategies for providing long life that will provide input throughout track 9.

Products: Feasible pavement strategies and promising features for providing long life for each type of concrete pavement selected and case studies of past long-life concrete pavements.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in tracks 2 and 6. Case studies and the identification of promising types and design features developed in this research will be essential to the rest of this track.

Problem Statement 9-2-2. Design Catalog for Long-Life Concrete Pavements

This research will develop a catalog of long-life pavement designs that lists feasible pavement design alternatives for different site conditions. The design conditions may be classified in terms of climatic region (or key climatic factors), traffic level, and subgrade or foundation type. Each design entry in the catalog will describe the structural section (base/subbase type and thickness and slab thickness), slab width, joint spacing, material requirements, and other design features such as load transfer design and subsurface drainage. While the catalog will discuss slab thickness in relation to other design features, slab thickness will not be included in each section of the catalog because thickness requires detailed analyses in light of all other design features and site conditions. Instead, the design catalog will focus on design aspects other than slab thickness. It will also provide QC/QA testing guidelines to ensure adequate construction quality for all layers and the foundation. Based on available information, an interim guide will be developed that will be updated based on the results of other research conducted under this track.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify all site factors that affect pavement performance and classify the identified factors accordingly (e.g., climatic region (or key climatic factors), traffic level, and subgrade or foundation type).

  2. Identify feasible pavement design alternatives (e.g., by using existing performance models and pavement analysis tools) for different site conditions identified under task 1.

  3. Develop a catalog of long-life pavement designs for the different site conditions identified under task 1. Each design entry in the catalog will describe the structural section (base/subbase type and thickness and at most a general range of slab thicknesses) and many other aspects that include slab width, joint spacing, material requirements, load transfer design, subsurface drainage, foundation stability and uniformity, and QC/QA testing guidelines to ensure adequate construction quality. The design catalog should include information on low-volume rural and urban roadways.

Benefits: A catalog of long-life pavement designs that will provide practicing engineers with tools for designing long-life cost-effective pavements with minimal restoration and rehabilitation.

Products: An interim design catalog of long-life pavement designs (produced within 2 years of starting) and contents that will be updated as more information obtained from research activities under this track becomes available.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in track 2. The research will result in a practical product for immediate use in designing long-life concrete pavements.

Problem Statement 9-2-3. Strategic Application of Preservation Treatments to Preserve Long-Life Concrete Pavement

Through strategic use of restoration and rehabilitation techniques, extending the service life of concrete pavements may be possible. This research will investigate the feasibility of applying restoration or rehabilitation treatments to preserve and further extend the service life of long-life pavements. All possible alternatives should be considered including CPR treatments and concrete overlays. The optimum application timing, based on pavement condition and rehabilitation objectives, should also be determined. Finally, the feasibility of indefinitely preserving the original pavement structure should be investigated.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify all available and other potential restoration or rehabilitation treatments for the pavement types identified under problem statement 9-2-1. Conduct field surveys of promising treatments and document case studies.

  2. Investigate the feasibility of preserving and extending the service life of the identified pavement types by applying restoration or rehabilitation treatments.

  3. Investigate the feasibility of indefinitely preserving the original pavement structure.

  4. Recommend the optimum application timing of restoration or rehabilitation treatments, based on pavement condition, that will extend pavement service life or indefinitely preserve the original pavement structure.

  5. Prepare detailed guidelines for designers.

Benefits: Recommendations on the optimum application timing of restoration or rehabilitation treatments that will extend pavement service life or indefinitely preserve the original pavement structure and a tool for practicing engineers to use in designing long-life cost-effective concrete pavements with minimal restoration.

Products: Recommendations on the type, design, construction, and optimum application timing of restoration or rehabilitation treatments for extending pavements service life or indefinitely preserving the original pavement structure.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in track 2. The research will provide a product needed to ensure that long-term preservation treatments are considered fully and available. This problem statement is linked to problem statement 7-4-1.

SUBTRACK 9-3. CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS SELECTION FOR LONG-LIFE CONCRETE PAVEMENTS AND OVERLAYS

This subtrack addresses the materials, construction, and QA requirements unique to long-life concrete pavements and overlays. Table 52 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 52. Subtrack 9-3 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-3-1. Development of Quality Control/Quality Assurance Testing Standards to Ensure Long-Life Concrete Pavements $500,000–$600,000 QC/QA procedures for assessing the overall construction quality to determine whether the construction quality can achieve long life. QC/QA guidelines that provide practicing engineers with the tools for ensuring that concrete pavements are constructed as designed, thereby reducing possible discrepancies in anticipated service life.
9-3-2. Identification of Material Requirements and Tests for Long-Life Concrete Pavements $1–$1.5 million Material requirements and testing guidelines for establishing the suitability of long-life pavement materials for a wide variety of climates considering concrete, base, and other materials. Reliable requirements and testing guidelines for identifying suitable concrete materials as well as base and other materials and tools for practicing engineers that will design against possible material-related problems and distress.
9-3-3. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Experimental Long-Life Concrete Pavements $3–$5 million Design and construction of several promising concrete pavement types with appropriate design features, foundations, materials, construction, QC/QA, and preservation treatments, considering advancements from other research and development including precast joints and advanced materials, as well as pavements monitored for performance over time. Design, construction, and monitoring of several promising concrete pavements that will prove the long-life pavement concept and strongly encourage implementation of other such long-life projects.
9-3-4. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Concrete Overlays $3–$5 million Promising concrete overlay types with appropriate design features, surface characteristics, foundations, materials, construction, QC/QA, and preservation treatments. An exceptionally strong long-life pavement with concrete overlay, combining the strengths of a solid concrete foundation with a renewable surface designed around functional requirements.

Problem Statement 9-3-1. Development of Quality Control/Quality Assurance Testing Standards to Ensure Long-Life Concrete Pavements

This research will establish standards for QC/QA testing to ensure LTPP. The standard will specify the type of testing to be conducted, testing procedures, testing frequency, and reporting requirements. The acceptable construction tolerances will also be specified for key construction factors, including slab thickness, joint spacing, concrete strength, joint LTE, dowel bar alignment, tie-bar placement accuracy, and foundation uniformity and stability. Repairs may be permissible for certain deficiency types. In such cases, the acceptable repairs for the deficiencies also will be specified. A procedure for assessing the overall construction quality also will be developed to determine whether the construction quality can achieve long life.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify the types of QC/QA testing required to ensure good LTPP. Identified testing standards will specify the type of testing to be conducted, testing procedures, testing frequency, and reporting requirements.

  2. Determine acceptable construction tolerances for key construction factors (e.g., slab thickness, joint spacing, concrete strength, joint LTE, dowel bar alignment, tie-bar placement accuracy, and foundation uniformity and stability) to ensure good LTPP.

  3. Identify commonly occurring construction deficiencies and the permissible repairs that will ensure good LTPP.

  4. Develop a procedure for assessing the overall construction quality to determine whether the construction quality can achieve long life.

Benefits: QC/QA guidelines that provide practicing engineers with the tools for ensuring that concrete pavements are constructed as designed, thereby reducing possible discrepancies in anticipated service life.

Products: QC/QA procedure for assessing the overall construction quality to determine whether the construction quality can achieve long life.

Implementation: This research will ensure that long life concrete pavements are constructed with the appropriate quality and that no major construction problem will result in premature pavement failures.

Problem Statement 9-3-2. Identification of Material Requirements and Tests for Long-Life Concrete Pavements

Good material performance is essential for long-life pavement. Materials that must perform well include concrete, a base layer, a subbase layer, tie-bars, dowel bars, and deformed reinforcement. This research will document material problems that have caused premature pavement failures in the past, along with information about high-risk areas for such problems. A long design life may not be practical in some areas due to a high risk of developing material problems. If such limitations exist, identifying the high-risk areas and materials, as well as the practical design life limit, can optimize pavement design. However, the material problem can often be mitigated using various treatments and certain design features. This research will result in testing guidelines for identifying potential material problems as well as mitigation strategies.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify commonly occurring material problems that have caused premature pavement failures for different pavement types, along with information about high-risk areas for such problems.

  2. Identify treatments and design features that can mitigate the identified material problem.

  3. Identify high-risk sites (e.g., climate zones and subgrade types) for material problems that cause long pavement design life to be impractical or infeasible.

  4. Identify tests and develop testing guidelines for identifying potential material problems as well as mitigation strategies.

  5. Prepare comprehensive guidelines for selecting, specifying, and testing the materials required during construction for long-life concrete pavements.

Benefits: Reliable requirements and testing guidelines for identifying suitable concrete materials as well as base and other materials and tools for practicing engineers that will design against possible material-related problems and distress.

Products: Materials requirements and testing guidelines for establishing the suitability of long-life pavement materials for a wide variety of climates, considering concrete, base, and other materials.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in track 2. The results of this research are essential to reliable long-life concrete pavement designs, materials, and construction. Results will be immediately useful and will be used to design and construct the test sections under problem statement 9-3-3.

Problem Statement 9-3-3. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Experimental Long-Life Concrete Pavements

This research will develop innovative designs that promise superior long-term performance and test them in an ALF, test roads (e.g., MnROAD), or as a highway test section (e.g., LTPP). The designs may include innovative structural section, including concrete overlays; precast designs and advanced materials; and innovative pavement service life management that considers rehabilitation strategy as a part of life-cycle design. Based on the results of this research, the long-life pavement design guidelines developed under this research track may be modified.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify new and innovative pavement structural sections including concrete overlays and available innovative materials that promise superior long-term performance.

  2. Determine the best method of testing the long-term performance of the promising designs using ALFs or full-scale test facilities and highways.

  3. Design and prepare specifications and QC/QA tests and observe materials testing and other needed and feasible QA activities for several sites.

  4. Analyze test section performance results over time and provide performance data to States and others.

  5. Develop revised design, construction, and materials specifications and other products based on test results and analysis.

Benefits: Designing, constructing, and monitoring several promising concrete pavements that will prove the long-life pavement concept, strongly encouraging implementation of other such long-life projects.

Products: Design and construct several promising concrete pavement types with appropriate design features, foundations, materials, construction, QC/QA, and preservation treatments, considering advancements from other research and development including precast joints and advanced materials. Pavements that will be monitored for performance over time.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in subtrack 9-4. Constructing the most promising designs will demonstrate the feasibility of long-term concrete pavement. Results from design, construction, and materials will be useful immediately to States. Performance will be useful over time.

Problem Statement 9-3-4. Design, Construct, and Evaluate Concrete Overlays

Concrete overlays are discussed throughout the CP Road Map, especially in the problem statements addressing the use of asphalt bases throughout track 1. This problem statement will develop approaches to long-life pavements that consider concrete overlay construction principles during initial construction and over the analysis period. The research in this problem statement addresses JCPs or CRCPs over an asphalt base or subbase with a cement/epoxy-type or porous concrete surface. For all surface types, the surface is renewable, and the concrete slab is expected to require little maintenance or rehabilitation for 30–50 years or more.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Determine operational strategies that could accommodate concrete overlay construction principles.

  2. Determine ways to incorporate issues concerning asphalt bases with PCC surface courses (e.g., changes in temperature gradients and thickness and stiffness of the layers) into structural design.

  3. Develop the initial functional and performance requirements of the top surface course to meet economic, safety, and environmental concerns, as well as traffic loadings and volumes.

  4. Determine the surface course material requirements for meeting two or three different life expectancy predictions before replacement is required.

  5. Identify any adjustments required to properly integrate specific materials issues with the structural values developed in task 2.

  6. Determine the bonding requirements between surface and slab necessary for meeting the desired performance criteria.

  7. Consider issues of delaminating, reflection cracking, clogging, and stability, as well as the impact of contained moisture in the structure.

  8. Study the effects of the concrete surface layer on the structural design of the slab.

  9. Determine the construction issues unique to these concrete overlay sections, addressing each interlayer.

  10. Develop guide specifications for each significant type of concrete overlay.

  11. Build, monitor, and evaluate the various test sections.

Benefits: An exceptionally strong long-life pavement with concrete overlay, combining the strengths of a solid concrete foundation with a renewable surface designed around functional requirements.

Products: Promising concrete overlay types with appropriate design features, surface characteristics, foundations, materials, construction, QC/QA, and preservation treatments.

Implementation: The research in this problem statement will be coordinated with work in subtrack 9-4. This research also will be integrated with SHRP 2 Renewal Project R21, Composite Pavement Systems, as it pertains to concrete overlays.(12) Results from the design, construction, and materials aspects of this research will be useful immediately to States, while performance data will be useful over time. This research also may be addressed in other tracks (i.e., tracks 2, 4, 6, and 8). This problem statement is linked to problem statement 8-3-4.

SUBTRACK 9-4. PLANNING AND DESIGN OF ACCELERATED LOADING AND LONG-TERM DATA COLLECTION

This subtrack addresses the full design of a new long-term data collection program for concrete pavements and integration with a concrete pavement rating system. This subtrack will provide the information necessary to support the modeling work identified in other tracks and the analysis of new experimental sections. Table 53 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 53. Subtrack 9-4 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-4-1. Identification of Accelerated and Long-Term Data Needs $750,000–$1.5 million A detailed plan outlining data needs to support research planned under the CP Road Map, consisting of both accelerated loading sections and long-term road tests. An effective and productive research program for collecting data through ALFs and full-scale road tests in support of the CP Road Map.
9-4-2. Concrete Pavement Data Management and Distribution $800,000–$1.2 million A comprehensive plan for a Web-based, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use system for collecting, evaluating, and distributing data that incorporates a mechanism for importing data from other databases, as well as reliable and accurate data for developing, calibrating, and validating tools required for pavement design, evaluation, rehabilitation, construction, etc., and a flexible system that allows data structure to be modified easily at any point. Reliable and accurate data that pavement engineers can use to develop new tools or calibrate and validate existing tools or technology for pavement design, evaluation, rehabilitation, etc.
9-4-3. Master Plan for Conducting Accelerated Testing of Products and Full-Scale Road Experiments $900,000–$1.5 million An overall master plan for conducting accelerated testing of products developed under the CP Road Map, detailing the effectiveness of using ALFs in fast-track pavement testing, identifying appropriate testing needs for ALFs and new approaches that might improve the ALF testing process, and determining ways in which ALFs might accomplish research needs, as well as a master plan for conducting full-scale long-term road tests of products developed under the CP Road Map. A program to test, verify, and validate products developed under the CP Road Map, giving credibility and validity to many of the individual research efforts.
9-4-4. Develop Experimental Designs and a Data Collection and Performance Monitoring Plan for Accelerated Loading Facilities and Full-Scale Products Testing $800,000–$1.5 million Experimental designs and a data collection and performance monitoring plan for ALF and full-scale road testing of products developed under this track, as well as four ALFs and four test roads. Experimental design for testing products developed under this track using ALF or full-scale in-service pavements and materials, construction, design, traffic, and materials data collected from both ALF and full-scale testing that will provide many years of reliable pavement analysis data.
9-4-5. Concrete Pavement Rating System for Highways $200,000–$400,000 Guidelines for State highway agencies to improve their pavement rating systems and implementation documents to be used directly by highway agencies to make use of high-speed highway pavement rating procedures. A more accurate and efficient high-speed highway pavement rating system for use by State highway agencies.

Problem Statement 9-4-1. Identification of Accelerated and Long-Term Data Needs

This research will identify data needs and existing data sources to support other research planned under the CP Road Map.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Examine each research track to identify data needs. This task will require extensive interaction with expert task groups and others involved in the research tracks to identify the data needed to complete the individual projects successfully.

  2. Examine databases from LTPP, MnROAD, FHWA’s concrete pavement performance study, and other sources to determine the amount of information available.(13)

  3. Determine the amount of additional data needed for specific new and innovative designs, materials, and construction techniques. For example, data should be needed for further calibrating distress and IRI models for JPCP and CRCP, as well as new pavement types such as precast JCPs and thin concrete overlays. This analysis should consider accelerated durability testing for materials and designs.

Benefits: A detailed plan that provides an effective and productive research program for collecting data through ALFs and full-scale road tests in support of the CP Road Map.

Products: A detailed plan outlining data needs to support research planned under the CP Road Map consisting of both ALFs and long-term road tests.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in tracks 2 and 6 and subtrack 9-3. The data needs identified in this research will be planned for and obtained throughout the CP Road Map.

Problem Statement 9-4-2. Concrete Pavement Data Management and Distribution

This research will develop an initial comprehensive framework and a computerized database for collecting, evaluating, and distributing data. The system will be Web-based and user-friendly and should incorporate a mechanism that easily imports data from existing databases. The database will be organized by specific objectives (e.g., modeling of slab cracking, faulting, smoothness, noise, productivity, etc.) to streamline the data elements for any given objective. The system must also allow the data structure to be modified easily and flexibly at any point, letting users add or delete data elements and reorganize the data tables as needed. The system will provide raw data as well as processed results. The type and format of the processed results offered should be established in light of various user needs (e.g., FHWA, State highway agencies, contractors, researchers, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and trade organizations). The database will initially be populated by existing data from previous concrete pavement ALFs and road tests, but it will include input for data identified under problem statement 9-4-1. The database will expand as new testing data is obtained.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify and document available Web-based systems for database assembly and management.

  2. Determine whether the identified systems are suitable for this research.

  3. Select the appropriate system and customize it in light of the data identified in problem statement 9-4-1.

  4. Develop a framework for collecting, evaluating, and distributing data using data gathered under this track and the selected data management system.

  5. Develop the data management system for this database.

  6. Populate the database using data from previous or ongoing concrete pavement ALFs and road tests.

Benefits: Reliable and accurate data that pavement engineers can use to develop new tools or calibrate and validate existing tools or technology for pavement design, evaluation, rehabilitation, etc.

Products: A comprehensive plan for a Web-based, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use system for collecting, evaluating, and distributing data that incorporates a mechanism for importing data from other databases. Reliable and accurate data for developing, calibrating, and validating tools required for pavement design, evaluation, rehabilitation, construction, etc. A flexible system that allows data structure to be modified easily at any point.

Implementation: The results of this research will be used in many research activities throughout the design track.

Problem Statement 9-4-3. Master Plan for Conducting Accelerated Testing of Products and Full-Scale Road Experiments

Several time-consuming factors (i.e., field trials and testing) are required to develop and launch an innovative idea or product successfully for concrete pavement design or construction. This is because the idea or product must be shown to improve current procedures genuinely in the short, intermediate, and long term and must be cost effective. For a concrete pavement structure, full-scale testing may include constructing in-service pavements that are subjected to both climate and traffic loads for more than 10 years. However, specific design aspects, such as transverse joints, could be tested more rapidly under an ALF.

Accelerated testing can significantly reduce the time needed to prove that an idea or a product is effective. This recently has been made possible by the development of several ALFs throughout the United States. ALFs can fast-track field testing and thus reduce the time between the development of an idea or concept and its implementation in the form of design guidelines or catalogues. However, ALFs do not always simulate field conditions entirely, and this shortcoming must be considered to determine whether ALFs can effectively obtain field performance data that assesses the usefulness of an innovative design. The following tasks will determine the effectiveness of using ALFs to fast-track pavement testing.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Identify specific testing needs appropriate for accelerated testing and long-term road testing. This will offer a global perspective of the various experiments and technical objectives such as design guide calibration, joint program, and surface texture. The cost of these potential experiments must be estimated.

  2. Document MnROAD ALFs, FHWA ALFs, and other ALFs in the United States and internationally to determine how PCC pavement tests are conducted, how to accomplish the needs identified in task one using this knowledge, and how new approaches might improve the process, as well as lessons learned.

  3. Develop an improved approach to accelerated concrete pavement testing. Include accelerated durability testing for materials and design, as well as accelerated repeated loading testing.

  4. Develop an overall master plan for conducting accelerated testing of products developed under the CP Road Map.

  5. Develop an overall master plan for conducting long-term road tests for products developed under the CP Road Map.

Benefits: A program to test, verify, and validate products developed under the CP Road Map, giving credibility and validity to many of the individual research efforts.

Products: A master plan for conducting accelerated testing of products developed under the CP Road Map, detailing the effectiveness of using ALFs in fast-track pavement testing, identifying appropriate testing needs for ALFs and new approaches that might improve the ALF testing process, and determining ways in which ALFs might accomplish research needs, as well as a master plan for conducting full-scale long-term road tests of products developed under the CP Road Map.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in tracks 2 and 6 and subtrack 9-3. The data needs identified in this research will be planned for and obtained throughout the CP Road Map.

Problem Statement 9-4-4. Develop Experimental Designs and a Data Collection and Performance Monitoring Plan for Accelerated Loading Facilities and Full-Scale Products Testing

Each ALF and full-scale road testing experiment conducted under this track will require experimental designs. Well-designed experiments will maximize information while minimizing costs and offer the greatest chance for achieving reliable results. Each ALF and full-scale road testing experiment will require a data collection and performance monitoring plan to test products developed under this research. The research in this problem statement should account for experiments studying a range of traffic loadings from low- to high-traffic volume roadways as well as experiments that address accelerated durability testing for concrete paving materials and design.

For each experiment conducted, the following tasks must be done as a minimum:

  1. Establish clear experiment scope and goals.

  2. Identify factors involved and their experimental levels.

  3. Design experiments and replicate test sections.

  4. Analyze the data obtained.

  5. Identify major uncertainties involved.

  6. Review simulated experimental results to ensure design completeness (use existing data from ALFs and road tests).

Benefits: Experimental design for testing products developed under this track using ALF or
full-scale, in-service pavements, as well as materials, construction, design, traffic, and materials data collected from both ALF and full-scale testing that will provide many years of reliable pavement analysis data.

Products: Experimental designs and a data collection and performance monitoring plan for ALF and full-scale road testing of products developed under this track, as well as four ALFs and four test roads.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in tracks 2 and 6 and subtrack 9-3. The data needs identified in this research will be planned for and obtained throughout the CP Road Map.

Problem Statement 9-4-5. Concrete Pavement Rating System for Highways

State highway agencies use many procedures to rate their pavements for management and engineering purposes. These vary widely from State to State. This research will develop guidelines for State highway agencies to improve their pavement rating systems.

The pavement condition index (PCI) procedure was developed in the 1970s and 1980s for airport pavements and city street pavements. The main scope of PCI was to provide a simple yet consistent tool for rating pavements that would reflect the experience of many experienced engineers. The rating scale, from zero to 100, was divided into categories such as excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor. This procedure found wide use and acceptance by the U.S. military, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and some cities. Its main advantage is that it provides a simple, consistent, and uniform way to rate pavements with an overall score, but it also includes individual distresses to determine the causes of deterioration, making it possible to better recommend rehabilitation treatments. In the 1980s, FHWA sponsored research to adapt the PCI to high-speed highways, and an initial procedure was completed. This initial work needs further consideration regarding its value today for State highway agencies as a consistent rating procedure.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Review State highway agency PMSs and summarize their procedures to rate highway pavements. Compare the State highway rating systems with the PCI procedures used by the USACE, FAA, and APWA.

  2. Assess whether the PCI procedure, appropriately modified as necessary to handle high-speed highways, would be useful to State highway agencies and FHWA in providing a uniform and consistent rating procedure.

  3. If feasible, develop guidelines for all types of concrete pavements for use by State highway agencies to improve their pavement rating systems.

  4. Prepare implementation documents for highway agencies to make use of the PCI procedures for high-speed highways.

Benefits: A more accurate and efficient high-speed highway pavement rating system for use by State highway agencies.

Products: Guidelines for State highway agencies to improve their pavement rating systems and implementation documents to be used directly by highway agencies to make use of high-speed highway pavement rating procedures.

Implementation: This work will result in implementation documents to be used directly by highway agencies to use the PCI procedures for high-speed highways.

SUBTRACK 9-5. PREPARATION OF DATA COLLECTION/TESTING PROCEDURES AND CONSTRUCTION OF TEST ROAD

This subtrack addresses the preparation of concrete pavement data collection and testing procedures and the construction of accelerated loading sections and test road sections. Table 54 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 54. Subtrack 9-5 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-5-1. Preparation of Concrete Pavement Data Collection and Testing Procedures $500,000–
$1 million
Development of data collection, testing procedures, protocols, as well as laboratory, ALF, and full-scale testing specifications for projects developed under problem statement 9-5-2. Adoption of existing or development of new and more reliable test protocols for use in the pavement performance experiments.
9-5-2. Construction of Accelerated Loading Sections and Test Road Sections $4.8–
$7.2 million
Execution of experimental plans developed under previous tasks, including the establishment of experimental test sections, a materials testing program, and performance monitoring to obtain data for developing pavement analysis and tools, as well as data stored in the database developed under problem statement 9-4-4 that will be used for calibration, validation, and other activities for the pavement performance models used in the CP Road Map. Available construction, design, traffic, and materials data collected from both ALFs and full-scale testing for pavement analysis.

Problem Statement 9-5-1. Preparation of Concrete Pavement Data Collection and Testing Procedures

Because consistent and calibrated testing is critical to the success of all research in this track, substantial efforts must be mobilized to achieve this goal. The research in this problem statement will adopt existing or develop new standard data collection and testing procedures and specifications for laboratory, ALFs, and test road experimental sections. The plan will specify the testing to be conducted for each data element identified in previous problem statements.

The tasks include the following:

  1. If not accomplished previously under other projects, document MnROAD ALF, FHWA ALF, California Department of Transportation ALF, University of Illinois ALF, and other ALFs in the United States and internationally to determine how PCC pavement tests are conducted, how the needs generated in task one could be accomplished using this knowledge, how new approaches might improve the testing process, as well as lessons learned.

  2. Develop data collection and testing plans, protocols for all data, and ALF and full-scale construction and testing specifications for experimental projects developed under problem statement 9-5-2. Extensive use will be made of AASHTO, ASTM, LTPP, and State highway agency protocols and tests.

Benefits: Adoption of existing or development of new and more reliable test protocols for use in the pavement performance experiments.

Products: Development of data collection, testing procedures, protocols, as well as laboratory, ALF, and full-scale testing specifications for projects developed under problem statement 9-5-2.

Implementation: The results of this research will be used in many research activities throughout the design track.

Problem Statement 9-5-2. Construction of Accelerated Loading Sections and Test Road Sections

This task will execute the experimental plans developed under problem statements 9-4-4 and 9-5-1. An expert panel consisting of State highway agencies, FHWA, academia, industry representatives, and consultants will prioritize different experiments and set schedules. To the extent practical, standard procedure will be established and followed in documenting the attributes of the as-built experimental section, and standard protocol will be followed in monitoring and reporting performance.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Construct the ALF sections. These sections likely will be constructed early so that the remaining studies can obtain and use the results.

  2. Construct the test road sections. Designing and planning these major experiments will require time, and many years of monitoring will be needed to obtain results.

  3. Conduct monitoring and data collection at all sites and feed the results directly to the projects that sponsor the experiments.

Benefits: Available construction, design, traffic, and materials data collected from both ALFs and full-scale testing for pavement analysis.

Products: Execution of experimental plans developed under previous tasks, including the establishment of experimental test sections, a materials testing program, and performance monitoring to obtain data for developing pavement analysis and tools. Data stored in the database developed under problem statement 9-4-4 that will be used for calibration, validation, and other activities for the pavement performance models used in the CP Road Map.

Implementation: This research will be coordinated closely with work in tracks 2 and 6 and subtrack 9-3. The data needs identified in this research will be planned for and obtained throughout the CP Road Map. These results will also be immediately used in calibration, validation, and other activities for models and engineering procedures developed in various research projects conducted under the CP Road Map.

Note: Assume four to six ALFs and four to six test roads will be constructed and tested each at approximately $600,000. Some funds from the private sector may be available ($1 million). These costs include engineering, testing, instrumentation, weather stations, construction, QC/QA, and monitoring, but not actual construction costs except for ALFs. For economy or expediency, any of these experimental test sites could be adjacent to asphalt test roads.

SUBTRACK 9-6. LONG-LIFE CONCRETE PAVEMENT PERFORMANCE IMPLEMENTATION

This subtrack provides for the implementation of the long-life pavement research developed in the track, including accelerated loading and long-term data collection. Table 55 provides an overview of this subtrack.

Table 55. Subtrack 9-6 overview.
Problem Statement Estimated Cost Products Benefits
9-6-1. Implementation of Long-Life Concrete Pavements $800,000–$1.2 million Strong transfer of long-life concrete pavement design and construction technology to the workforce using workshops, conferences, and Web-based personnel training. A knowledgeable workforce and management that can use the design procedure to design, construct, and specify materials and preserve long-life concrete pavements properly when long-life designs are required.
9-6-2. Implementation of Accelerated Loading and Long-Term Data Collection $800,000–$1.2 million Immediate transfer of results from the accelerated or long-term test facilities to researchers working on the overall concrete pavement research plan, using various research contracts conducting the work, the Internet, and summary reports presented at onsite workshops and conferences, as well as constructing, testing, and monitoring several experimental ALFs and full-scale road test sections, producing unbiased results that are useful for calibrating, validating, and developing various key prediction models in the CP Road Map. Field-proven performance data that theory has predicted, important for calibrating and validating studies for the various models and predictions developed under the CP Road Map.

Problem Statement 9-6-1. Implementation of Long-Life Concrete Pavements

Implementing long-life concrete pavement requires significant efforts in both training the workforce and convincing management that long-life concrete pavement is feasible and reliable. This task addresses both of these efforts. The results from many other tracks and projects will help develop long-life pavements, and these other efforts will be used in this task without being repeated. For example, track 2 offers a design procedure that is fully capable of designing long-life pavements. However, additional design work will be needed to ensure a reliable design.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Develop and present workshops dealing with aspects of the mechanistic design process that focus on long-life concrete pavements (e.g., history and case studies of past successes, structural modeling, materials characterization, distress and IRI prediction, concrete overlays, restoration, optimization, traffic, climate, and local calibration).

  2. Organize national conferences and workshops on the mechanistic design process where States and other highway agencies share their findings.

  3. Develop Web-based online training tools.

  4. Develop a method for strong transfer of long-life concrete pavement design technology using workshops, conferences, and Web-based personnel training.

Benefits: A knowledgeable workforce and management that can use the design procedure to design, construct, specify materials, and preserve long-life concrete pavements properly when long-life designs are required.

Products: Strong transfer of long-life concrete pavement design and construction technology to the workforce using workshops, conferences, and Web-based personnel training.

Implementation: This work will provide the technology transfer critical to the success of the long-life concrete pavement track.

Problem Statement 9-6-2. Implementation of Accelerated Loading and Long-Term Data Collection

Implementing the accelerated loading and long-term data collection advancements developed in this track will support many projects in the CP Road Map. The project research team will work extensively with contractors from other projects that need either accelerated or long-term performance data to ensure that the data needed is obtained properly.

The tasks include the following:

  1. Conduct accelerated loading and long-term data collection implementation on an experiment-by-experiment basis.

  2. Document the results and field data as needed.

Benefits: Field-proven performance data that theory has predicted, which is important for calibrating and validating studies for the various models and predictions developed under the CP Road Map.

Products: Immediate transfer of results from the accelerated or long-term test facilities to researchers working on the overall concrete pavement research plan, using various research contracts conducting the work, the Internet, and summary reports presented at onsite workshops and conferences. Constructing, testing, and monitoring several experimental ALFs and full-scale road test sections, producing unbiased results that are useful for calibrating, validating, and developing various key prediction models in the CP Road Map.

Implementation: This work will provide the technology transfer critical to the success of track 9.

 


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Provide leadership and technology for the delivery of long life pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, and can be effectively maintained. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) R&T Web site portal, which provides access to or information about the Agency’s R&T program, projects, partnerships, publications, and results.
FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration