The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 48-16 [Active (Synthesis)]

Construction and Rehabilitation of Concrete Pavements under Traffic
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/9/2016 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Crawford Jencks
Research Agency: Applied Research Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Shreenath Rao
Effective Date: 5/28/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope

The construction of new concrete roads, concrete overlays or major rehabilitation can be effectively done under traffic. Implementation of advancements in materials, equipment, placement techniques and project coordination has made this possible.

Many projects have been constructed under varying levels of traffic ranging from temporary closures to maintaining a high level of traffic volume adjacent to or through the project. The current state of the practice in constructing or rehabilitating concrete pavements under traffic relies primarily on a few high profile and well documented projects. However, there are projects that have adequate documentation either by the owner or the contractor, but are not widely known. This study will identify and document effective practices from these projects to better facilitate future work.

The topics to be studied include (but are not limited to) the following-

Maintenance of Traffic
The use of innovative, and accurate traffic control measures, can be used to effectively maintain safe traffic operations and reduce traffic delays while still permitting normal or expedited construction operations. Normal detailed templates for traffic control may not be appropriate for this type of construction; how are traffic control plans developed and approved?

A variety of cementitious materials have been developed over the past decade that allow for both rapid placement and early opening to traffic. The durability of these types of materials has improved, though further improvement is needed to achieve performance. The relative cost difference compared with conventional materials has been reduced in many cases. Precast concrete technologies are used as well. Optimization of base and sub-base materials to reduce transport time and minimize schedule impacts from the environment provides more effective pavement designs for new construction or reconstruction. The use of these innovative materials promotes construction and rehabilitation under traffic by allowing limited lane closure times and expedited construction schedules.

Construction and Equipment
Advancements in paving equipment and placement techniques have had perhaps the most significant impact on construction under traffic. Development of the zero clearance paver, refinement of stringless paving technology, and 3D modeling technology have resulted in much greater flexibility in maintaining traffic during placement.
Zero clearance pavers facilitate paving with tight clearances and can allow traffic movement in close proximity to the actual placement. Stringless paving eliminates the need for setting string lines for machine guidance and elevation control and can therefore permit placement under traffic on even 2 lane facilities. Early age saw-cutting and sensors for early age maturity are also useful.

Project Management
Project planning and use of non-traditional project delivery and administration methods will be studied. Project management encompasses many aspects of construction operations and public awareness. It has been demonstrated on a number of high profile projects that a comprehensive public awareness program can alleviate a significant amount of congestion and facilitate construction operations at the reduced traffic volumes. The study will also address experiences with tort liability claims associated with implementing these types of construction.

Information for this study will be gathered by literature review and a survey of the voting members of the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Construction, though survey topics will include traffic, design and materials. Follow-up interviews may be conducted. The report will include 5-10 case-examples that illustrate effective practices. These will include construction projects with high-volume roads, lower volume roads, and effective public awareness plans. The projects for these examples will be pre-approved by the topic panel.

The report will also identify current gaps in knowledge and practice, and will detail research needs to further improve maintenance of traffic, materials, equipment and project management.

Information Sources:
• Concrete Pavement Technology Center, Iowa State University, Ames Iowa: The Center has a number of well documented case histories regarding maintenance of traffic during construction- the best example being U.S. 18 in Iowa.
• American Concrete Pavement Association, Rosemont, Illinois: The Association has generated a number of documents regarding constructing concrete roadways under traffic.
• Federal Highway Administration, State Departments of Transportation, City and County Governments, Toll Authorities, material suppliers and contractors: There are many examples of innovative approaches to maintaining traffic or minimizing disruptions during construction. Noteworthy examples include the reconstruction of I90/94 in Chicago and various Interstate Highways in and around Atlanta, Georgia. 

TRB Staff
Crawford Jencks
Phone: 202-334-3245

Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 28, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 18, 2016, 2:00 p.m., EDT
Second Panel: June 20, 2017, Woods Hole, MA

Topic Panel
Emanuel Banks, Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department
Jeremy Daniel, Area 1 Office
Sabrina Garber, The Transtec Group Inc.
Steven Gillen, Illinois Tollway
Craig Landefeld, Office of Construction Administration
Leo Mahserelli, Office oif Concrete Pavement
John M. Mason, Jr., Auburn University
Richard B. Duval, Federal Highway Administration
Michael Praul, Pavement Design and Analysis Team (HIAP-10)
Nelson H. Gibson, Transportation Research Board

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