By: Richard B. Rogers, PE
Concrete pavement overlays can be an economical method to rehabilitate both concrete and asphalt pavements (see the Guide to Concrete Overlays from the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center.) But, the concrete overlay pavement design methods being used today, yes even AASHTO ME, are overly conservative. Why should a concrete overlay of an asphalt pavement in structurally good condition be only 2 inches thinner than a new concrete pavement on a subbase and subgrade. Better methods are available--just not used--to take advantage of the existing pavement structure.
In 1981, the University of Texas, Center for Transportation Research published report 249-1, Implementation of Rigid Pavement Overlay and Design System. This design method was used to design and construct a 7 inch continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) overlay of the existing asphalt pavement, on IH 35 from IH 10 to Loop 1604, with construction completed in 1983. This heavily-traveled pavement is currently in good structural condition, and has only needed two asphalt overlays (2 inches each) in 30 years.
The Cement Council of Texas can help with design and construction of concrete overlays on asphalt pavement. Just contact us.
"This blog was previously posted in the Cement Council of Texas' "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog" (now inactive) and was carried forward to the current blog ("Cementx Pavement Blog") as it contains content that may be of interest to the reader".
The Cementx Pavement Blog seeks to make pavement owners, engineers and contractors smarter about selecting, designing, constructing and maintaining pavements. New blog postings began February 1, 2017; however, we carried over pavement-related blog postings from our older blog, the "Texas Cement and Concrete Blog," which ran until December 2016.