Consideration of Some Factors Affecting the Competitiveness and Potential for Future Use of Concrete Roads in the UK

Paper by SANCHEZ MANNING BECKETT from ISCR 8th 1998 Lisbon Portugal

Although concrete roads have traditionally been used in the construction of a small part of the UK network, there is continuing interest in the potential for concrete pavements. Consideration of the way in which whole life cost (WLC) may influence selection of the most competitive form of concrete structure when compared with bituminous road base and sub-base is complex. The UK Highways Agency has developed a whole life cost model, COMPAflF., which has become an important tool for determining construction, maintenance programmes and user costs. Pavement performance can be assessed with graphical output of predicted deflections, rutting and skid resistance at various stages throughout the selected period for pavement evaluation. The corollary of COMPARE is that future concrete roads must have (i) few transverse joints and (ii) as long a period as possible before any maintenance requirements occur. The potential for steel fibre concrete pavements, based on recent developments in the use of the material for heavily loaded ground floor slabs and hardstandings, is assessed. Design criteria relating to loading and subgrade reaction, based on tests at the University of Greenwich, are proposed and speculation that a combination of steel fibres and conventional continuous reinforcement to accommodate thermal movement has potential for road pavements is made.

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