Rapid road repair that’s built to last

December 24, 2014
Precast slabs arrive ready for installation and use.

When’s the last time you saw a pothole, or, worse, hit one with your car? Chances are it hasn’t been long. Pavements around North America are showing alarming rates of deterioration at the same time traffic is at an all-time high.

For years, Georgia DOT (GDOT) has researched and implemented innovative construction practices, emerging technologies and new products for roadway repair. The Highway for LIFE program awarded GDOT funds for the pavement rehabilitation of S.R. 11 in Winder, which created one such opportunity. The high percentage of traffic, coupled with parking, has led to varying levels of cracking and rutting ranging from 5/8 in. to 1-1/2 in. at four different intersections. The underlying base material also varies in thickness. This resulted in cracks and various forms of pavement distresses.

To achieve project goals, the work needed to be fast-tracked to minimize the number of construction days involving lane closures. The use of a jointed precast concrete pavement (JPrCP) system:

·       reduced the timeline by one to two months;

·       minimized delays, including nighttime-only lane closures;

·       allowed for the use of a quality-controlled product fabricated in a controlled environment with uniform curing;

·       provided higher compressive strengths and plant acceptance that resulted in greater durability;

·       decreased the need and frequency of future maintenance;

·       eliminated the use of vibratory equipment, which was of concern due to the proximity of historic buildings and aging underground utilities; and

·       allowed the use of variable depth milling to remove rutting and correct cross-slope.

DOTs across the country have successfully replaced roadways with JPrCP and have proven the system to be a durable, long-term solution. For GDOT, it reduced worker exposure to traffic and limited congestion and delays.

The need for rapid repair—coupled with limited budgets—has forced agencies to rehabilitate roadways with low-cost materials even if they won’t last. With JPrCP systems, agencies get a durable and reliable alternative that installs fast, reduces disruptions, and is more cost-efficient than removal and total reconstruction of a roadway. To learn more, visit http://precast.org/pavement.