The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) is pursuing a comprehensive resource development and technology transfer initiative aimed at building awareness of continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCPs). (See related story, “CRSI Seeks Long-Life CRCP Project Info, Photos.”)
This program represents more than 70 years of institutional knowledge, according to CRSI. “CRSI recognizes that there needs to be a central repository for information on CRCP,” said Greg Halsted, P.E., Western Region Manager for CRSI.
“It seems like a natural fit that CRSI be the one to gather the available information and make it readily and freely accessible to anyone who wishes to be informed.” The initiative involves developing and maintaining a repository of CRCP information, which is intended to educate and inform state transportation agencies, contractors, consultants, and others with an interest in the technology. The initiative is led by CRSI and supported by a Federal Highway Administration Cooperative Agreement.
Updated Web Resource
Key to the effort is the website www.crcpavement.org, which originally went live in late 2008. A new Cooperative Agreement has allowed CRSI to do a complete overhaul and update of the site.
ACPA alumnus Robert Rodden, P.E., has been reworking the site. Visitors to the website will see a growing number of technical resources, research reports, and other resources, all focused on CRCP applications. Developing the content has been a collaborative effort, and to that end, ACPA has supported this effort with a number of documents, which can be viewed at http://crcpavement.org/?s=PDF+courtesy+of+the+American+Concrete+Pavement+Association.
ACPA also will be providing project profiles based on current and past “Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards” submissions. Halsted says the goal of the site is to create a better understanding and acceptance of CRCP as a rigid pavement alternative to asphalt pavements.
“CRSI wants the roadbuilding community to recognize that CRCP is another option for pavement consideration, and we can supply information and expertise to allow them to make intelligent choices when it comes to their paving needs,” he says, emphasizing that “CRSI has never actively promoted the use of CRCP over other pavements.”
He cites a lack of awareness and experience as challenges. “There are currently 16 State Highway Agencies that have never built CRCP or have no practical experience.
CRSI would like to see some of these states properly decide, design, and construct their own sections of CRCP,” Halsted says, adding, “FHWA would like to see two new states use CRCP within the life of this current Cooperative Agreement. We are off to a good start as New Mexico DOT is considering its use for a project which bids next year.”
Halsted said the technology transfer initiative has far-reaching implications, adding that “Worldwide, CRSI would simply like to be known as a prime source for information for pavement engineers considering the use of CRCP.” Since the relaunch in November 2014, crcpavement.org has been accessed by more than 6,500 users from over 1,300 cities in 100 different countries, Rodden says.
“CRSI looks at these numbers as proof there is an already large and growing interest in CRCP,” Halsted says, adding, “CRCP is no longer thought of as simply a niche market or product, but rather a viable pavement alternative for a given set of traffic and environmental conditions.”
Halsted adds that overcoming misconceptions is a key goal of the website, noting that putting the correct information into the hands of those considering using CRCP will go a long way to address concerns. “Too many agencies look solely at first cost, which can be a detriment to CRCP. Explaining the life cycle advantages—in terms of both its longevity and economy—are key tenets of this technology transfer.” Another element of CRSI’s broad technology and knowledge transfer initiative is an update to its CRCP Design and Construction Guidelines by Jeff Roesler, Ph.D., P.E., Professor at the University of Illinois (and an ACPA member), along with Jake Hiller, Ph.D., Professor at Michigan Tech University.
The update is a work in progress and will be added to CRSI’s website, but until then, existing design and construction guidelines may be viewed at: http://crcpavement.org/2011/08/crcp-design-and-construction-guidelines/.