Reflective Cracking and Sawing & Sealing

A method used to rehabilitate PCC pavements is to replace an asphaltic concrete overlay on the existing pavement. The overlays can help improve the structural capacity and rideability of the pavement. Although an overlay can improve the pavement performance, it can also create some maintenance problems. Generally, maintenance problems result from reflection cracking at the location of joints and cracks in the underlying slab. The reflective cracks can occur soon after the completion and placement of the overlay, thus reducing cost- effectiveness of the overlay.

Reflective cracking is almost impossible to stop. Because of this, some agencies have decided to control the problem rather than eliminate it.

Studies by State Departments of Transportation in mostly northern states, have shown the saw and seal method to be effective in significantly reducing pavement maintenance costs in the long run.

In areas where temperature fluctuates, the saw and seal method is ideal for increasing the longevity of asphalt pavement. By installing control joints in the new pavement and sealing the joints, the expansion and contraction process tends to cause many less random cracks in the pavement.

For further statistical analyses, please visit here: Exploring the use of the saw and seal method for mitigation of reflective cracking in composite pavements

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