Title: Engineering a better road: Use of two-way prestressed, precast concrete pavement for rapid rehabilitation
Date: Winter, 2013
Volume: 58
Issue: 1
Page number: 129-141
Author(s): Tinu Mishra, Phil French, and Ziad Sakkal

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The need for rapid, durable roadway rehabilitation strategies is one of the key aspects of today’s aging highway system. Current work windows for road construction crews are sometimes as short as four to five hours. In these short work windows, state transportation agencies are required to maintain highways to endure the constant wear and tear from high traffic volumes and differing weather conditions. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) rehabilitates concrete pavement exhibiting moderate distress using rapid-strength concrete. Rapid- strength concrete is used with or without dowels for load transfer, depending on the contiguous length of repair. The inadequacy of this approach led Caltrans to pursue a more effective means of repairing the deteriorating highway system. After years of conventional rapid-strength concrete rehabilitation, two-way pretensioned precast concrete pavement was used to rehabilitate a highway in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project incorporates a combination of jointed precast, pretensioned concrete pavement and precast, posttensioned concrete pavement on a large scale and is nearing completion. Differences from other precast concrete projects in the United States are two-way prestressing (longitudinal and transverse directions), eliminating blockout pockets through the use of end stressing, reducing the number of post-tensioning ducts, and casting and deploying panels ranging in length from 18 to 36 ft (5.5 to 11 m). This paper discusses the challenges encountered during construction. In addition, this paper discusses innovations developed to addresses various issues encountered during construction.


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