When and Why is CRCP Used?

CRCP was introduced in 1921 when the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (predecessor to FHWA) built a CRCP section on the Columbia Pike near Arlington, Virginia. Since then, CRCP has become standard construction practice in several States in the US, including Illinois, Texas, and Oregon. Many European countries, Japan, and Australia also construct CRCP.

CRCP can be designed and constructed consistently and reliably to provide superior long-term performance with very low maintenance on heavily traveled and loaded roadways, including interstate highways. Well designed and constructed CRCPs accomplish the following:

  • Eliminate joint-maintenance costs for the life of the pavement, helping meet the public’s desire for reduced work zones and related traveler delays.
  • Provide consistent transfer of shear stresses from heavy wheel loads, resulting in consistently quiet ride and less distress development at the cracks.

Such pavements can be expected to provide over 40 years of exceptional performance with minimal maintenance. These attributes are becoming increasingly important in high-traffic, heavy-truck areas, where delays are costly and a smooth ride is expected. Some of the most highly trafficked roadways in the country—including Interstate 75 in Atlanta, I-90 and I-94 in Chicago, and I-45 in Houston—demonstrate CRCP’s rugged, low-maintenance performance.

Data from the FHWA’s Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program show that the large majority of heavily-trafficked sections of CRCP projects in 22 States have maintained their smoothness for 20 to 30 years and more.

CRCP can be easily widened to provide additional capacity and, after many years of service, can be overlaid with either concrete or asphalt.