First Experiences with Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP) in Canada

Paper by THÉBEAU DAVIDSON from ISCR 10th 2006 Brussels Belgium

Since the early 1990s, the design of every type of pavement has been impacted by a major turnaround in Québec Transport Ministry (MTQ) standards. The main focus of this turnaround has been the structural design and the frost protection of every type of pavement, taking into account local climate and traffic conditions. Jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP) was adopted as the standard at that time. In an effort to further optimize our work methods, and in keeping with the funds allocated for the maintenance and rehabilitation of cement concrete pavements, a new type of pavement is being considered: continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP). This type of concrete pavement is widely used by several states in the USA and in some European countries. The main advantage of CRCP is the absence of transverse contraction joints (considered to be the weak point of JPCP); and the main disadvantage is the higher initial construction cost. The first section of highway using CRCP in Canada was built in 2000 in the Province of Québec. At that time, project engineers and experts attempted to adapt the design of this type of concrete pavement from other countries to the severe wet-freeze climate in Québec. In 2002, a Technical Tour was organized to Belgium for technology transfer, with the primary purpose of developing our expertise in CRCP. Despite the fact that the performance of CRCP was unknown in a climate like ours, mainly in terms of corrosion of the steel, MTQ pavement managers were attracted by the absence of maintenance over time. Since 2000, nearly 40 kilometres of CRCP have been constructed in Québec. This paper presents the steps that were followed in order to adapt the design and construction of this new concrete pavement, taking into account our severe wet-freeze climate. The pavement performance of various sections will be described. Finally, some unresolved issues and potential solutions will be discussed.

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