Precast Concrete Pavement

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by
In Materials, Transportation Engineering, tagged in Tags: , , ,
Pre Cast Concrete

Precast concrete pavement is an old tool making some fresh waves in the Kansas City area. We recently hosted Tim Sylvester, founder of Integrated Roadways, for a lunch and learn. He shared with us and our clients the uses, installation, and future capabilities of precast pavement. Precast concrete pavement has been installed in a handful of locations in the Kansas City metropolitan area and more installations are scheduled. Both KDOT and MoDOT have approved it and projects are underway.

PROs

  • Low maintenance – The concrete is prestressed so cracking is very limited once installed.
  • Fast installation – Even inexperienced crews can be efficiently installing pavement after the first couple of hours.
  • Quick maintenance – Because you don’t have to wait on the concrete to set you can place the new panel, grout it, and open the lane back to traffic quickly.
  • Technology opportunities – There are a lot of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components that could be included directly into the pavement, like traffic counting equipment. Plus, things like heaters can be installed at the factory to assist with snow and ice removal.

CONs

  • Initial cost is higher than the cast-in-place alternative. Some of that is due to supply and demand issues.
  • Owners and contractors are inexperienced with this product and skeptical about its performance.
  • While the life cycle of the pavement is 50 years with little to no maintenance, currently the oldest installed precast pavement is just over 30 years old.
  • Joints should be sealed and maintained for the life of the pavement.
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