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Innovative solutions to buried portland cement concrete roadways : second interim.
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  • Abstract:
    Maine has hundreds of miles of highway that were constructed of

    Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) roughly 6 to 6.1 m (18 to 20 ft) wide forty

    or more years ago. Since that time these same highways have been paved

    and widened to 6.7 or 7 m (22 or 24 ft) with hot bituminous pavements to

    accommodate increased traffic volumes. Bituminous materials were used in

    place of concrete due to the ease of placement and price of material.

    PCC is a rigid pavement capable of supporting weight with little

    deflection. Hot bituminous pavement is flexible and will bend to distribute

    weight across the roadway. When the highway is expanded beyond the

    concrete slab there is a sharp decrease of support for this bituminous

    pavement resulting in settlement over prolonged use. This settlement may

    also be compounded by poor drainage capabilities of the underlying soils

    causing the unsupported pavement to drop lower than the existing height of

    the concrete supported pavement. This creates a longitudinal crack aligning

    with the concrete slab edge about 0.3 to 1 m (1 to 3 ft) from the right edge of

    pavement. Pavement to the right of this crack deteriorates to the point where

    maintenance crews attempt to smooth it out with cold patch year after year.

    Paving over the entire roadway is an option but, due to reflective cracking,

    the edge of pavement begins to deteriorate within 2 or 3 years.

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