A structural evaluation of portland cement concrete (PCC) shoulders has been conducted. The influence of the major design variables on the behavior of shoulders under load was determined by using a finite element analysis program and data from field surveys of several PCC shoulders. The major design variables studies include slab thickness and tapering, foundation support and loss of support, joint spacing, lane-shoulder tie, shoulder width, and design and conditions of the adjacent lane. Results of analytical and field studies show that each of these variables can have a significant effect on the performance of PCC shoulders and also on the performance of the adjacent traffic lane. A minimum slab thickness of 15 cm (6 in.) is recommended, but certain design situations--i.e., poor foundation support, need for significant load transfer support at the lane edge, heavy traffic, or a narrow shoulder--require greater thickness. The required thickness should be determined from structural analysis. To achieve the greatest structural benefits for the traffic lane and the shoulder, load transfer efficiency at the longitudinal joint should be greater than about 50 percent. Field studies indicate that this efficiency can be attained by providing tie bars across the longitudinal joint. Shoulder width should be at least 91 to 152 cm (3 to 5ft) to contribute a significant structural benefit. A shoulder joint spacing of 4.6m (15ft) is recommended to minimize joint spalling and blowups and slab cracking. If the shoulder is designed properly, significant improvement in the performance of the traffic lane for both new construction and rehabilitation as well as long-term, low-maintenance performance of the PCC shoulder can be achieved. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 51-60
  • Monograph Title: Pavement surface properties, evaluation, and shoulders
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00189510
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309028051
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 12 1979 12:00AM