Transverse Construction Joint Design

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.

Transverse construction joints are formed at the start and end of paving operations, or whenever paving operations are halted long enough to form a cold joint. Proper design and construction of transverse construction joints is essential to maintain continuity of the CRCP.

A minimum of 1.0% of longitudinal reinforcement should be provided at transverse construction joints by placing additional reinforcement bars along the joint. Deformed bars 72-in. (1.8-m) long and with the same size and grade of the longitudinal reinforcement are typically used to reinforce the transverse construction joint. These tiebars are placed between every other longitudinal bar to provide the required additional reinforcement.

The additional reinforcement is provided to resist the increased shear and bending stresses at the joint, and to provide additional bond area required to accommodate stresses generated during the first few days after construction, before the concrete gains sufficient strength.

In addition, lap splices that fall within 3 ft (0.9 m) behind the construction joint, or lap splices that fall within 8 ft (2.4 m) ahead of the construction joint (in the direction of paving), should be additionally strengthened. It is recommended that the lap either be made double the normal length, or else additional deformed bars 6 ft (1.8 m) long of the same size as the longitudinal reinforcement be spliced in symmetrically with the lap.(2)

This is especially important for transverse construction joints in order to produce high-quality concrete on both ends of the joint. Many transverse construction joints have performed poorly due to inadequate concrete consolidation.