Behavior of Tied Multiple-Lane Portland Cement Concrete Pavement: Effects of Environmental Loading and Dowel Bar Use

Tie bars are used at longitudinal construction joints (LCJs) in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement primarily to keep lanes from separating. As more lanes are tied together because of ever-increasing traffic volume, concerns about the potential for longitudinal cracking have led to the use of dowel bars at LCJs. However, a survey of a number of state highway agencies (SHAs) revealed that few of them have guidelines and design standards for the use of dowel bars at LCJs and that no in-depth studies conducted in this area have been identified. The effects of multiple lane ties and dowel bar placements in PCC pavements are analyzed in this paper to provide basic information on whether dowel bars are really needed, and if they are, where they should be placed and what their advantages and disadvantages are. Field testing verified that the longitudinal cracking potential is greater as slab thickness and lane width increase. The effects of multiple lane ties and dowel bar placements at LCJs are evaluated with numerical analysis. Placing dowel bars in lieu of tie bars reduces the longitudinal cracking potential, and the effectiveness of using dowel bars is enhanced when they are applied to thicker and wider pavements. However, the use of dowel bars could result in increased potential for lane separations.


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  • Accession Number: 01152411
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309142946
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-4119
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 12:08PM