A chronology of airport paving development is presented as it relates to four specific areas: Soil mechanics; pavement thickness criteria; design and construction technology; and, aircraft gearloads. The development of the first concrete runway by the Ford Motor Company in 1927 is described. Interesting concepts were used in airport paving projects in the 1930's. Luken Field in Cincinnati, constructed three reinforced concrete runways with transverse undoweled contraction joints, and inverted crowns with drop inlets in the center of each runway for drainage. Providence Airport, had three runways with one of the conspicuous engineering achievements in connection with this project. Engineers did not have a thickness design procedure for concrete airport pavements until the modification of the Westergaard analysis in 1939. Another evaluative soil term came into use as a result of Westergaard's analysis, called "k-value" which provided a method to evauate the "modulus of subgrade reaction" and consolidation of various soils under load. In the 1950's the concrete pavement criteria for heavier planes had been developed. The concept of continuously reinforced concrete offered an improved method of load transfer without transverse joints. During the 1960's, slip form concrete paving streamlined and reduced the cost of paving. Many of the civil airports in use today have pavements still in service that were constructed during WWII. Westergaard's analysis formed the basis for concrete pavement design, and R.G. Packards' computer program for multiple wheel loads further redefined the pavement thickness procedure.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Association of Airport Executives

    2029 K Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20006
  • Authors:
    • Cawley, M L
  • Publication Date: 1977-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 13-16
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00174015
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Association of Airport Executives
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 18 1978 12:00AM