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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-165
Date: March 2002

Chapter 1. Introduction

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The objective of this research, conducted under FHWA Contract DTFH61-96-C-00073, was to develop guidelines to provide pavement engineers and field and laboratory personnel with a systematic procedure for the identification, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of materials-related distresses (MRD) in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements.

This report, Volume 3: Case Studies Using the Guidelines, presents the six case studies that were conducted as part of this study. The other two reports are:

Each of these in-service concrete pavements appeared to be exhibiting MRD, and were subjected to a coordinated series of field-testing and laboratory evaluation activities. In this way, the usefulness and applicability of the guidelines were evaluated under actual field conditions, thereby providing feedback on what areas of the guidelines worked well and what areas required modification or refinement. The results of these case studies were directly used to establish the final version of the guidelines as published in Volume 2: Guidelines Description and Use.

In this volume, the field and laboratory testing activities that were conducted under this project are presented. A general summary of the data collection and analysis procedures conducted on each pavement case study is provided. This is followed by a summary of the condition survey, field sampling, and laboratory analysis results obtained for each of the case studies, leading up to the identification of the most likely MRD type present in the pavement. Finally, remediation strategies for each pavement examined are presented.

The case studies have already been briefly introduced in Volume 1: Final Report. As described, two sets of test sites were established:

The primary and secondary test sites included in the study are summarized in table 3-1. Again, the primary test sites represent each of the four SHRP LTPP climatic regions, and also include a range of other factors including age, pavement design, and type of distress manifestation. The secondary sites are included to provide additional sections for assessing the guidelines. The general location of these projects is shown in figure 3-1.

The case studies included in the study were subjected to a detailed field condition survey, and core samples were retrieved from prescribed locations for laboratory testing and evaluation. All of these activities were performed in accordance with the systematic procedures outlined in the guidelines.

Chapter 2 of this volume presents the primary case studies and chapter 3 presents the secondary case studies. Chapter 4 provides a brief conclusion. Due to the vast amount of data collected in the course of this study, it is not practical to present it all in printed format. Thus a web-based appendix is used to provide this detailed information.

Table 3-1. Primary and secondary test sites included in study.


Highway / City




Primary Sites


SR 58, Boron


230 mm JPCP
4.0-5.8-5.5-3.7-m joint spacing
No dowels



TH 65, Mora


200 mm JPCP
4.0-4.6-5.2-04.6-m joint spacing
No dowels


North Carolina

I-440, Raleigh


200 mm JPCP
7.6-7.0-5.8-5.5 m joint spacing
32-mm dowels


South Dakota

I-90, Spearfish


200 mm JRCP
12.3-m joint spacing
25-mm dowels


Secondary Sites


SR 14, Mojave


215 mm JPCP
3.7-4.0-5.8-5.5-m joint spacing
No dowels



SR 2, Nebraska City


240 mm JPCP
6.1-m joint spacing
32-mm dowels


Figure 3-1:  Graphic. General location of projects included in study. This map shows the location of the six projects (four primary and two secondary) conducted for this study.   On the map, circles indicate primary project sites and are located along State Route 68 in Boron, California, along I 90 in Spearfish, South Dakota, TH 65 in Mora, Minnesota, and along I 4 40 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Triangles indicate secondary project sites and are located along State route 14 in Mojave, California and along State route 2 in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Figure 3-1. Genral location of projects included in study


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