The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is always on the lookout for durable solutions for pavement preservation. Degradation caused by natural forces, traffic and other means is a continual challenge for keepers of the infrastructure—they need to treat defects such as surface spalling, panel corner breaks, potholes and full-length panel cracking, all of which are termed as “partial depth repairs.”
Since 2004, UDOT has been using TechCrete on Utah’s interstates and roads. TechCrete is a hot-applied, gray-colored, flexible mastic sealant compound made of polymer-modified synthetic resin containing fibers, fillers, fines and high-quality aggregate that forms a flexible, long-lasting repair that supports heavy loads.
UDOT has used TechCrete on many of its road, including the section of I-80 that runs through Salt Lake County. Built in the 1950s, I-80 runs east and west across the Utah through the capital of Salt Lake City. The annual average daily traffic on I-80 through Salt Lake County is approximately 219,000 vehicles. This area has temperatures that typically range from 90°F (32.22°C) to 31°F (-0.56°C), with an annual average of 18.58 in. (47.19 cm) of precipitation.
“The performance of Crafco’s TechCrete on this and other Interstate segments has been outstanding,” said Dave Holmgren, P.E., UDOT Region One pavement engineer. “In my opinion, the flexible partial-depth repair materials are more durable than the ridged repair materials. Flexible repair materials should and will always be an option for use in our quest to preserve and extend concrete pavement life.”
Bridges and overpass structures often provide even greater preservation challenges than mainline pavements because they flex more, vibrate more and are often bathed in deicing chemicals. Concrete erosion and steel corrosion can accelerate when bridges are exposed to those conditions; add in general wear and tear under traffic loadings and it all combines to reduce bridge and structure service life.
Some of the first signs of structure wear show up as defects on the bridge decks. TechCrete represents an advantage over cementitious repair materials because it provides a voidless, waterproof repair that has no corrosive properties. Additionally, no water or deicing materials will penetrate through the TechCrete, thus preventing the corrosion of the steel rebar.
In Utah and other parts of the world, TechCrete is proven to be an effective, flexible compound that supports heavy loads and resists cracking, delamination and spalling to lengthen pavement and bridge service life. Because of its proven service life of more than ten years, TechCrete is one of the most cost-effective ways to treat what are termed as “partial-depth repairs using flexible materials.”