Precast pavement manual dovetails 100th lane mile of installed product

To address a fragmented engineering and technical library supporting members’ products for mainline concrete highway repair or construction, the National Precast Concrete Association Precast Concrete Slabs Committee enlisted leading practitioners Peter Smith, P.E. and Mark B. Snyder, Ph.D., P.E. to write and produce the photo- and schematic-rich Manual of Jointed Precast Concrete Pavement.

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NPCA members can obtain copies of the document at www.precast.org

Release of the 225-page publication coincides with placement of the 100th lane mile of jointed precast pavement (JPrCP) across the U.S. and Canada. The milestone underscores the need for what NPCA notes is an industry guidance document covering: JPrCP systems, definitions, design and fabrication; conditions where JPrCP can be used most advantageously; shop drawing preparation; general and specific system installation details; project execution; and, maintenance of completed installations.

“Panels are readily adaptable for much more than the roadway patches or lane replacements that constitute most precast pavement installations to date,” authors observe. “Recent developments in load transfer dowels enable routine additions to previously installed precast pavement and existing pavement, making it possible to permanently replace heavily traveled existing concrete roadways on an as-needed basis without the traffic-crippling restrictions that are frequently necessary to replace the same highways using conventional methods. Precast pavement may also be designed to be removable (to provide access to underlying utilities for maintenance purposes) and replaceable (so the aesthetics and functionality of the original pavement may be restored quickly).”

JPrCP practice has especially evolved this decade from elementary patching and lane replacements to include curved alignment (ramp), non-planar highway, bridge approach, intersection and airfield taxiway installations, they add. As the method progresses and sees further agency adoption, the NPCA Precast Concrete Slabs Committee will update the Manual of Jointed Precast Concrete Pavement. The committee includes representatives from producers Armtec LP, Fort Miller Co., Norwalk Concrete Industries, Pro-Cast Products, Smith-Midland Corp., StructureCast and Wilbert Precast, plus Besser Co. and the Federal Highway Administration.