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Attributes of Good In-Service Concrete Pavements (Proj. 9)

PCC pavement section of residential street

50-year-old PCC pavement section still in good condition, Bettendorf, Iowa


Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigators:

Project status


Start date: 10/01/03
End date: 03/31/04


Report: Attributes of Good In-Service Concrete Pavements (Proj. 9) (1.2 mb pdf) December 2004


Sponsor(s): Federal Highway Administration

About the research

Abstract: Much of the current research in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements deals with the analysis of early pavement life failures and seeks to find ways to prevent those from reoccurring. The Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) portion of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) has identified some of the key factors in designing and building new PCC pavements. This statement will build on the Iowa Highway Research Board (IHRB) project TR-463, Field Performance Study of Past Iowa Pavement Research: A Look Back.

In Iowa and across the nation, there are multiple pavements that were built more than 20 years ago that have been and are continuing to provide very good service to the public. They are found on both state and local routes and in both low and high traffic volume areas. There is a need to learn what went into those pavements, from the subgrade through the surface, that makes them perform so well.

The purpose of this research project was to conduct a scoping study that could be used to evaluate the need for additional research to study the attributes of well-performing concrete pavements. The concept of "zero-maintenance jointed plain concrete pavements" was iterated in this study for long-lasting, well-performing portland cement concrete pavement sections.

The scope of the study was limited to a brief literature survey, pavement performance data collection from many counties, cities, and primary and interstate roads in Iowa, field visits to many selected pavement sites, and analysis of the collected data. No laboratory or field testing was conducted for this phase of the project. A problem statement with a research plan was created that could be used to guide the second phase of the project.