Improving the Foundation Layers for Pavements: Field Evaluation of Premature Pavement Joint Deterioration – Iowa Urbandale Drive Field Study - TPF-5(183)

(2015) Improving the Foundation Layers for Pavements: Field Evaluation of Premature Pavement Joint Deterioration – Iowa Urbandale Drive Field Study - TPF-5(183). Transportation, Department of


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This technical project report is one of the field project reports developed as part of the TPF-5(183) and FHWA DTFH 61-06-H00011:WO18 studies. This report summarized field test results and observations of a forensic investigation conducted on north bound (NB) and south bound (SB) lanes of NW Urbandale Drive in Urbandale, Iowa, to assess the causes of premature joint distresses observed at transverse and longitudinal joints. The SB lanes showed significantly more premature joint distresses than the NB lanes. The site consisted of a fourlane divided roadway constructed in 1997 with 260 mm (10.2 in.) thick jointed PCC pavement supported over a nominal 150 mm (5.9 in.) thick special backfill subbase layer and compacted subgrade. The objectives of the field study were to assess the causes for premature joint failures on the roadway and investigate if there were any differences between the NB and SB lanes that contributed to higher distresses on the SB lanes than on the NB lanes. The field study involved conducting falling weight deflectometer (FWD) tests on selected panels on NB and SB lanes, pavement coring near joints and away from joints, and dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) and core hole permeameter (CHP) tests at selected core locations. FWD tests were conducted to assess load transfer efficiency (LTE) of pavement joints, deflections under dynamic loading, voids beneath pavement, and modulus of subgrade reaction (k). CHP tests were conducted to assess in situ drainage conditions. Pavement cores were assessed for damage in situ and were then sent to laboratory for petrographic analysis. In summary, the main cause of premature joint deterioration related damage at this site is freeze/thaw distress occurring as a result of poor drainage in the joints, which resulted in trapped water. Increased saturation because of trapped water combined with a marginal airvoid system at the surface and an elevated w/cm ratio significantly increased the risk of damage. Results obtained from NB and SB lanes did not provide conclusive evidence that there is difference between the two lanes in terms of support conditions or drainage conditions or concrete material properties

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: concrete pavement—pavement foundation—joint deterioration—permeability— stiffness—subbase—subgrade
Subjects: Transportation > Pavements
Transportation > Materials
Transportation > Maintenance and preservation
ID Code: 35203
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Research
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2021 20:20
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 20:20