Innovative solutions to buried portland cement concrete roadways : interim report - third year, May 2003.
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Innovative solutions to buried portland cement concrete roadways : interim report - third year, May 2003.

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    • Abstract:
      Maine has hundreds of miles of highway that were constructed of Portland Cement Concrete (PCC)

      roughly 5.5 to 6.0 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 7.3 m (22 or 24 ft) with hot bituminous pavements to accommodate

      increased traffic volumes and enhance roadway safety. 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. In contrast, hot bituminous

      pavement is flexible and will flex 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.

      It is the intent of this experimental project to explore various shoulder treatments to increase support of

      the extended roadway and hopefully decrease or eliminate deterioration of the shoulder pavement.

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