Performance of Edge Drains in Concrete Pavements in California

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently completed a study to evaluate the performance of edge drain systems placed along portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements. To date, a variety of edge drain designs, backfill materials, and placement methods have been used and have resulted in varying degrees of success when measured against overall pavement performance. This study investigated several different types of edge drain systems that have been used by Caltrans. Their performance was evaluated, and it was observed that more than 70 percent of the surveyed edge drains were not performing efficiently or as designed. This poor overall result can be attributed to design flaws, improper construction practices, and lack of maintenance. Generally, the performance of originally constructed edge drains was better than retrofit projects, since originally constructed edge drains are generally equipped with larger diameter drain pipes, deeper trenches, and treated permeable bases. Edge drain trenches in retrofit projects are generally not deep enough to effectively collect all infiltrated water from the PCC and base layers. The geotextile filter fabric materials found in excavated projects are not soil-specific, which can cause clogging and eventually reduce the ability of these edge drains to allow free flow of water. Improper construction practices, such as high percentages of cement in cement-treated permeable base backfill material and improper placement of geo-fabric material were observed in a few of the surveyed edge drain projects. Among surveyed projects, more than 50 percent of the edge drain outlet pipes were either buried or clogged, which can be attributed to lack of maintenance.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 145-158
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings. National Conference on Preservation, Repair, and Rehabilitation of Concrete Pavements, St. Louis, Missouri, April 21-24, 2009

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483824
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2013 10:15AM