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Accelerated slab replacement using temporary precast panels and self-consolidating concrete.
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Accelerated slab replacement using temporary precast panels and self-consolidating concrete.
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  • Abstract:
    Slab replacement is the main activity in any concrete pavement rehabilitation project. According to a survey of industry and FDOT, contractor productivity in slab replacements has been very low, ranging between 25 to 50 cu. yds. The low number of slab replacements constructed during a lane closure period is due to the short closure window to complete the time consuming construction activities.

    In an effort to increase productivity, the concrete mix is often designed to achieve the lane opening strength requirement of 2,200 psi in the shortest possible time to enable placing more slabs per lane closure period. This requires the use of excessive quantities of cement and accelerators in the concrete mix to achieve the required strength. A likely consequence of such action has been the development of premature cracking in many newly replaced slabs in Florida rehabilitation projects.

    This project was initiated with the objective to develop a method using temporary reusable precast panels and self-consolidating concrete (SCC) to accelerate the slab replacement process. The method involves installing one or two precast panels in the replacement slab pit after removing the deteriorated segment of the original slab. The panels are kept as placeholders for a few days and then removed. The open pit is then cast using SCC mix to form a permanent replacement slab.

    The ultimate goal of the Precast Panel-SCC Mix method is to increase contractor productivity, reduce maintenance of traffic (MOT) and construction completion time, reduce project cost, and minimize premature cracking. The two components of this method, namely, reinforced precast panels and SCC mix were designed, prepared, and tested in the laboratory, and then demonstrated successfully in the field. Construction criteria, detailed guidelines and specifications were also developed to facilitate implementation of this method in concrete pavement rehabilitation projects.

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