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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-02-083
Date: August 2006

Strategic Highway Research Program Highway Concrete Pavement Technology Development and Testing: Volume II-Field Evaluation of Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) C-203 Test Sites (Freeze-Thaw Resistance)

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This report documents results from 2 field sites, which include a total of 18 test sections in Minnesota and Ohio. The sites were monitored for long-term performance to verify the effectiveness of freeze-thaw resistance technology. The performance monitoring included annual distress surveys and physical testing of cores taken from the concrete slabs at both sites. Wave velocity was measured at joints at the Ohio site to evaluate some treatments for D-cracking mitigation.

The field test sites were installed in 1992 as a part of Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Contract C-203, "Resistance of Concrete to Freezing and Thawing." The purpose of both installations was to validate the current frost resistance technology for new concrete in a field environment. In addition, at the Ohio site an additional evaluation was conducted to examine the effectiveness of methods to treat existing D-cracked concrete pavements to mitigate the effect of future D-cracking.

Results from the field and laboratory testing over a 6-year period after construction (1992 to 1998) showed very little visual distress at the surface or physical distress of portland cement concrete (PCC) cores taken from the interior portions of the test sections. A description of the field sites and monitoring results are provided. Conclusions reached and recommendations for further study are then presented.

Gary L. Henderson
Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


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.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Strategic Highway Research Program

Highway Concrete Pavement Technology Development and Testing: Volume II—Field Evaluation of Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) C-203 Test Sites (Freeze-Thaw Resistance)

5. Report Date

August 2006

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Donald J. Janssen, University of Washington

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

ERES Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc.
505 W. University Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820-3915

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency's Name and Address

Office of Engineering and Highway Operations R&D
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency's Code

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA Contracting Officer's Technical Representative: Monte Symons, P.E. This work was conducted by Professor Donald J. Janssen under subcontract at the University of Washington.

16. Abstract

Field test sections were constructed during 1992 as part of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) investigation of the frost resistance of concrete. The first freeze-thaw-related deterioration expected for pavement concrete exposed to de-icing salt would be salt scaling. Unfortunately, the test sections constructed in Ohio were diamond-ground between construction and the first visit of the monitoring team. The diamond-ground surface did not deteriorate over time. Internal deterioration of the Ohio test sections was either not detected or was believed to be caused by a mechanism other than freeze-thaw. Freeze-thaw deterioration was not noticed, either, in the Minnesota test sections (not exposed to deicing salts), though freeze-thaw tests conducted on specimens cut from the test sections 6 years after construction showed significantly different performance than specimens prepared and tested at the time of test section construction. For both the Ohio and Minnesota test sections, only 6 years of witer exposure would not be adequate to evaluate potential long-term performance thoroughly. Though the Ohio sections have been overlaid, making further monitoring impossible, the Minnesota sections are still exposed. Additional monitoring of these sections is recommended, along with providing salt exposure to the sections to determine their resistance to salt scaling. The D-cracking mitigation study indicated that in many cases the D-cracking returned after 6 years, independent of the mitigation technique tried. Additional testing would be required to make further evaluations.

17. Key Words

Concrete pavement, durability, compressive strength, rapid chloride permeability test, AC impedance test, life cycle cost

18. Distribution Statement

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

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price

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


  1. Introduction
  2. Minnesota Freezing and Thawing Field Sections
  3. Ohio Test Sections
  4. Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix A. Condition Survey of Mn/ROAD PCC Test Pads (SHRP C-203 Pads) in 1994, 1998, and 2001

Appendix B. Information and Photos on Ohio Freeze-Thaw Full-depth Repairs





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