No matter where you travel, you are bound to encounter a high-traffic stretch of road in need of repair. But most of the concrete pavement that now needs to be rehabilitated in the United States and Canada is jointed and will need to be repaired in an intermittent fashion simply because federal, state and local agencies can’t afford to replace everything at once. That’s where precast concrete pavement systems (PCPS) excel.
Precast concrete pavement systems offer numerous benefits to transportation engineers and specifiers, but there is one that is universally appreciated by the entire driving public – speed of installation. “The speed and efficiency of installation of jointed precast concrete pavement systems are actually the primary drivers in the way that we have used precast pavement for repairs,” says a material engineer for a state DOT. “We like to close the road for the least amount of time as possible and get it open to traffic. We want to do all of the work off-peak. Precast concrete pavement systems are really the only way we’re able to stay within the kind of windows that we want to have and still expect durability for the repair.”
Here are two examples highlighting the efficiency of precast concrete pavement systems:
CaSe 2a: Interstate 95 The intermittent repair project on the New York State Thruway (I-95) in New Rochelle, N.Y., involved installation of more than 700 slabs (9,400 square yards) of full-depth repair in five-hour work windows. Approximately seven miles of this interstate highway were repaired using the precast pavement replacement technique while maintaining an average daily traffic flow of more than 140,000 vehicles. The success of this project provides irrefutable evidence that precast concrete pavement systems are an important method for today’s rapid road repair.
CaSe 2b: Sunrise Highway The major expressway along the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. Sunrise Highway (Route 278) serves as the main artery for summer recreation destinations in the Hamptons. When NYSDOT needed to replace failing joints on this hectic highway, it found the perfect solution in precast pavement systems. Four miles of road repair took just 12 days. Repair locations were isolated and spread over a distance of four miles of roadway with sections replaced in both lanes on both sides of the road—all without closing the highway The contractor worked in six-hour windows each day, installing six to seven pieces per shift with a single crew.