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 firstname.lastname@example.org.