The National Academies

NCHRP 10-50 [Completed]

Strategies for Rehabilitating Rigid Pavements Subjected to High-Traffic Volumes

  Project Data
Funds: $72,480
Research Agency: Nichols Consulting Engineers, Chtd.
Principal Investigator: Dennis A. Morian
Effective Date: 2/24/1997
Completion Date: 6/23/1998

With increasing traffic on roadways, motorists are becoming more intolerant of delays during pavement maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. To minimize delays, state highway agencies use strategies that involve various traffic management and construction practices that allow work to be completed at night or during periods of low traffic. This is particularly true with rigid pavements. Much of the recent research has emphasized the engineering aspects of maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements, but not cost-effectiveness issues, public acceptance, and accident risk. Without sufficient information, the effectiveness of alternative strategies can not be adequately assessed and the selection of the optimum strategy can not be made.

Research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies for maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements subjected to high-traffic volumes and to develop guidelines for the selection of suitable strategies for different situations. These guidelines will help highway agencies select those strategies that will ensure long-term performance, reduce user delay, reduce accident risk, and improve public acceptance.

The objective of this research is to develop guidelines that can be used by highway agencies to select appropriate strategies for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements subjected to high-traffic volumes. For the purpose of this research, high-traffic volumes refer to those volumes that can cause unacceptable user delays as defined by the agency.

Accomplishment of this objective will require at least the following tasks:

Phase I: (1) Collect and review relevant domestic and foreign literature and conduct surveys to identify strategies for maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements subjected to high-traffic volumes. These strategies must emphasize traffic management issues and consider other relevant factors. The information may be obtained from published and unpublished reports, contacts with public and private sector agencies, industry organizations, and other sources. Compile a summary of the strategies currently in use or under consideration for different situations. (2) Evaluate the strategies identified in Task 1. Based on this preliminary evaluation, determine those strategies that can be used to effectively maintain, rehabilitate, or reconstruct rigid pavements subjected to different levels of high-traffic volume, pavement condition, and other factors. (3) Refine the Phase II plan, contained in the proposal, to further evaluate and validate the promising strategies identified in Task 2 and to develop guidelines for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements. The research plan must identify details of the work proposed in Tasks 5 and 6. (4) Prepare and submit an interim report that (a) documents the research performed in Tasks 1 and 2 and (b) proposes an updated work plan for Phase II, based on the work performed in Task 3, describing rationale, methods, schedule, budget, and other details. Following review of the interim report by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the project panel. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until the interim report is approved and the work plan is authorized by the NCHRP.

Phase II: (5) Execute the plan approved in Task 4. Evaluate feasible strategies, define a decision-making process, and develop draft guidelines for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of rigid pavements that take into account levels of service, traffic management considerations, life-cycle costs, climatic conditions, promising materials and construction methods, and other relevant factors. (6) Validate the draft guidelines developed in Task 5. Based on the validation effort, revise the guidelines. Also, develop an implementation plan for moving the results of this research into practice. The implementation plan must discuss the applicability of the research results to highway practice, the expected benefits to the using agency, and the actions that need to be taken to ensure the use of the research results. (7) Submit a final report that documents the entire research effort.

Status: Phase I is complete. The panel recommended that work on Phase II not be pursued under this contract. A follow-up effort will performed under NCHRP Project 10-50A.

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