Launch Slideshow

A 36-foot-long precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panel is installed on the I-680 project in California. Caltrans used the panels for spot reconstruction of northbound and southbound lanes

Advances in Precast Paving

Advances in Precast Paving

  • A 36-foot-long precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panel is installed on the I-680 project in California. Caltrans used the panels for spot reconstruction of northbound and southbound lanes

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    A 36-foot-long precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panel is installed on the I-680 project in California. Caltrans used the panels for spot reconstruction of northbound and southbound lanes

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    Tinu Mishra/Caltrans District 4

    A 36-foot-long precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panel is installed on the I-680 project in California. Caltrans used the panels for spot reconstruction of northbound and southbound lanes

  • In Delaware, contractors worked overnight to reconstruct Route 896 with precast/prestressed concrete panels. Each night, they removed existing 12-inch concrete pavement, placed a 4-inch pervious concrete base, installed 8-inch precast panels, and post-tensioned them together so the road could be opened to traffic the next day.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmpAA04%2Etmp_tcm77-1868379.jpg

    true

    In Delaware, contractors worked overnight to reconstruct Route 896 with precast/prestressed concrete panels. Each night, they removed existing 12-inch concrete pavement, placed a 4-inch pervious concrete base, installed 8-inch precast panels, and post-tensioned them together so the road could be opened to traffic the next day.

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    Transtec Group

    In Delaware, contractors worked overnight to reconstruct Route 896 with precast/prestressed concrete panels. Each night, they removed existing 12-inch concrete pavement, placed a 4-inch pervious concrete base, installed 8-inch precast panels, and post-tensioned them together so the road could be opened to traffic the next day.

  • Precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were used to reconstruct a section of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia that carries more than 180,000 vehicles a day. Construction was limited to 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night to keep the road open to daytime traffic.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmpB7E1%2Etmp_tcm77-1868381.jpg

    true

    Precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were used to reconstruct a section of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia that carries more than 180,000 vehicles a day. Construction was limited to 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night to keep the road open to daytime traffic.

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    Transtec Group

    Precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were used to reconstruct a section of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia that carries more than 180,000 vehicles a day. Construction was limited to 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night to keep the road open to daytime traffic.

  • I-680 in California is open to traffic after precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were installed the previous night.

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    I-680 in California is open to traffic after precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were installed the previous night.

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    Transtec Group

    I-680 in California is open to traffic after precast/prestressed concrete pavement (PPCP) panels were installed the previous night.

  • Jointed precast pavement systems (JPPS) panels are interconnected similarly to cast-in-place pavement using dowels. The panels are typically heavily reinforced or pretensioned.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmpA291%2Etmp_tcm77-1868378.jpg

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    Jointed precast pavement systems (JPPS) panels are interconnected similarly to cast-in-place pavement using dowels. The panels are typically heavily reinforced or pretensioned.

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    Transtec Group

    Jointed precast pavement systems (JPPS) panels are interconnected similarly to cast-in-place pavement using dowels. The panels are typically heavily reinforced or pretensioned.

  • Precast pavement applications are gaining international popularity. This 22-mile precast/prestressed concrete toll road in Indonesia was completed in 2011.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmpB158%2Etmp_tcm77-1868380.jpg

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    Precast pavement applications are gaining international popularity. This 22-mile precast/prestressed concrete toll road in Indonesia was completed in 2011.

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    Tommy Nantung/Indiana DOT

    Precast pavement applications are gaining international popularity. This 22-mile precast/prestressed concrete toll road in Indonesia was completed in 2011.

Not just for reconstruction

In addition to reconstruction applications, Caltrans has found perhaps a much larger potential for using precast pavement in slab repairs. Seeking an alternative to the traditional approach of rapid-strength concrete for isolated slab replacements, Caltrans maintenance forces have demonstrated the viability of precast pavement slabs for this purpose.

These slab replacement panels are typically reinforced and utilize dowels to provide load transfer between the precast panels and existing pavement. To date, more than 230 precast panels have been used for slab repairs in greater Los Angeles including two bus pads along urban arterials.

Caltrans has utilized both proprietary and in-house systems for these slab repairs. Its innovative system uses embedded leveling screws to raise or lower precast panels to match the elevation of the existing pavement. Rapid-strength grout pumped beneath the panels provides support.

National and international appeal

While California has deployed precast pavement on perhaps the largest scale to date, other states including New York, New Jersey, and Illinois continue to use both PPCP and JPPS extensively. These states have developed standard specifications, and in some cases generic precast pavement system designs that will further the use of this technology.

Internationally, a project completed in 2011 in Indonesia featured 88 lane miles of PPCP for new construction, further demonstrating the viability and wide variety of applications for precast pavement. TCP

- David Merritt is project manager for The Transtec Group Inc., an Austin-Texas based engineering firm specializing in pavements and pavement materials. Email dmerritt@thetranstecgroup.com.