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State Highway Departments and local street and road agencies are currently faced with aging highway systems and a need to extend the life of some of the pavements. The agency engineer should have the opportunity to explore the use of multiple surface types in the selection of a preferred rehabilitation strategy. This study was designed to look at the portland cement concrete overlay alternative and especially the design of overlays for existing composite (portland cement and asphaltic cement concrete) pavements.

Existing design procedures for portland cement concrete overlays deal primarily with an existing asphaltic concrete pavement with an underlying granular base or stabilized base. This study reviewed those design methods and moved to the development of a design for overlays of composite pavements. It deals directly with existing portland cement concrete pavements that have been overlaid with successive asphaltic concrete overlays and are in need of another overlay due to poor performance of the existing surface.

The results of this study provide the engineer with a way to use existing deflection technology coupled with materials testing and a combination of existing overlay design methods to determine the design thickness of the portland cement concrete overlay. The design methodology provides guidance for the engineer, from the evaluation of the existing pavement condition through the construction of the overlay. It also provides a structural analysis of various joint and widening patterns on the performance of such designs. This work provides the engineer with a portland cement concrete overlay solution to composite pavements or conventional asphaltic concrete pavements that are in need of surface rehabilitation.


CTRE Project 04-169

Copyright Owner

Iowa State University

Report Number

FHWA DTFH61-01-X-00042 (Project 6), IHRB Project TR-511

Granting Agencies

Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Iowa Highway Research Board, Iowa Department of Transportation



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