Evaluation of Precut Thermal Cracks for an Asphalt Concrete Pavement in Interior Alaska

PI: Jenny Liu (UAF), jliu6@alaska.edu
Dates: 07/01/2013 – 7/31/2015

Many states are faced with the challenges of aging and degrading roadway pavements, and low temperature cracking is one of the most prevalent pavement distresses found in Alaska and in cold areas of other northern states. This requires significant repair efforts to maintain an acceptable pavement condition.  The low temperature cracks are extensive enough that a significant portion of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Maintenance and Operations budget is allocated to sealing and the associated work required to repair low temperature cracking. Until new technology may someday eliminate cracking, significant funds will continue to be spent on crack sealing and repair. Innovative and cost-effective approaches and techniques to preserve and maintain existing highway systems (other than “worst first”) are needed. Presawing of thermal cracks has provided promising results in controlling pavement degradation usually associated with natural thermal cracking, according to the field observation from a few asphalt concrete (AC) pavement projects in Alaska. However, a systematic approach has not been developed to implement optimum application of this technique in AC pavements, especially when the thermal cracking actually involves both the AC layer as well as the underlying aggregate.

Final Project Report: PacTrans-39-UAF-Liu