Reinforcement Construction

See FHWA’s CRCP Design and Construction Guidelines for the references included in this page. A new, more comprehensive FHWA CRCP Design, Construction, Maintenance and Rehabilitation manual is currently under development and this page will be updated upon its release in the spring of 2016.

Continuous steel reinforcement is the key feature that distinguishes CRCP from jointed concrete pavement.

This section of the guide discusses the construction aspects of longitudinal steel reinforcing bars, transverse steel rein- forcing bars, and steel tiebars in CRCP. Steel requirements in construction joints, terminal treatments, and crossover treatments are discussed in Sections 8.4 and 9 of this guide.

Reinforcing steel should be placed as shown on plans; noting that:

  • As the thickness increases, both the longitudinal and transverse steel requirements increase, and
  • As the pavement width increases, the transverse steel requirements increase.

Placing Reinforcement

Proper placement of reinforcing steel is an extremely critical aspect of CRCP construction. Detailed schematics should be provided by the contractor, approved by the engineer, and inspected in the field prior to paving to assure compliance with project standards and specifications. Longitudinal alignment and depth of the steel relative to the slab surface have a significant effect on CRCP performance.

Field studies have shown no significant difference in the performance of CRCP with steel placed on chairs and CRCP with steel placed using tube feeders as long as both are done properly.(73) However, chairs are used far more frequently than tubes because of the demonstrated benefits of using transverse steel, and due to the perception that they are more likely to result in accurate placement of the steel.

Regardless, some quality assurance measures are needed to assure the steel has not shifted during the construction process. Some states are experimenting with the use of magnetometers and ground penetrating radar for this purpose.

(Chairs or Transverse Bar Assembly)