A New Era for Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement from September 2013 Issue of FHWA’s FOCUS (FHWA-HRT-13-017)


CRCP has the potential to provide a long-term, zero-maintenance service life under heavy traffic loadings and challenging environmental conditions, provided proper design and quality construction practices are utilized,” said Sam Tyson of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

CRCP differs from other concrete pavements in that it has no constructed transverse contraction or expansion joints except at bridges or pavement ends. It is reinforced with continuous steel bars throughout the length of the pavement, resulting in closely spaced transverse cracks in the concrete. Rather than the usual transverse joints, these cracks accommodate volume changes in the concrete. CRCP can extend, joint free, for many miles with minimal maintenance required.

Illinois began experimenting with CRCP technology in 1947 and now has the second largest inventory of CRCP in the United States, behind Texas. California built its first experimental CRCP on U.S. 40 in 1949, followed by a second CRCP section on the roadway in 1971. The last 10 years have brought renewed interest in using the technology, leading the California Department of Transportation to adopt CRCP in its specifications and highway design manual.

CRCP use began in Texas in 1951 and continues to increase as the Texas Department of Transportation expands its roadway network and replaces jointed pavements taken out of service. Highway agencies in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia have also used CRCP since the 1960s or 1970s. Their experiences have been significant in developing today’s best practices for CRCP.

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