Investigation of Pacific Highway Joint sealant Trials – 3 Years On For Woolgoolga to Ballina

Investigation of Pacific Highway joint sealant trials – 3 years on for Woolgoolga to Ballina

David Groth1, James Walker2, Basil Ben 3

1 Pavements and Geotechnical Manager, Qualifications, Transport for NSW 2 Project Development Manager, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Transport for NSW, 3 Pavement Manager (Rigid Pavements), Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Transport for NSW


Over the last decade, there have been numerous Pacific Highway Upgrade projects in NSW that have experienced early failure of the silicone joint sealants on the transverse (P8) sawn contraction joints in plain concrete pavements (PCP).

The cause of early joint sealant failures has yet to be definitively established and has been the subject of much debate within the industry. TfNSW R83 specification for Concrete Pavement Base only specifies silicone sealants. However, there are alternative products available such as polyurethane sealants that have shown to provide stronger adhesion and lower susceptibility to pavement moisture at the time of application.

On the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade Project, three of the concrete paving contractors proposed joint sealant trials incorporating polyurethane sealants. As the trial locations have now been under highway traffic for approximately 3-4 years, follow up inspections were undertaken to assess the performance of the joint sealants. This paper presents the findings of the sealant’s performance from these visual inspections.


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