CRCP a Cost-Effective Long-Life Pavement Solution for Highways & Expressways

Paper by RAO from ISCR 10th 2006 Brussels Belgium

Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement, CRCP is a concrete pavement that is reinforced with steel bars in the direction of traffic. CRCP is a durable pavement solution, advancement to plain concrete pavement. Reinforcement is used in CRCP, to tackle the problem of concrete slab cracking, instead of joints used in conventional plain concrete pavement. Joints are the weakest points of failure. On the other hand reinforcement provided in CRCP allows elimination of joints, and improves the strength and life of pavement. Maintenance is virtually eliminated in CRCP. It appears to have been first used in 1921 by the Bureau of Public Roads on the Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia. Reports on existing CRCP roads shows that they have surpassed their own design life. CRCP is the most economical option for highways as its LCC is much lower, by about Rs 5 crore (~0.90 million euros) / Km (4 lane carriage way; 18 m wide) compared to that of flexible pavement as per the study conducted by INSDAG (INS/PUB/035). As per the present prevailing rates the LCC of CRCP is lower by more than Rs. 6 crore (~1.1 million euros) / km(4 lane carriage way; 18 m wide) compared to that of flexible pavement. The savings are mainly due to low maintenance, low vehicle operating cost. LCC of CRCP & JPCP (Jointed Plain Concrete pavement) pavements, considering the rates of Mumbai-Pune Expressway concrete pavement constructed in 1999 as well as present prevailing rates, shows that the CRCP pavement is marginally cheaper by about 3-4% compared to JPCP in addition to the advantage of much desired maintenance free service. CRCP is favourable compared to JPCP because life cycle cost of CRCP is slightly lower than JPCP and also the former offers jointless smooth riding surface.

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