For nearly one hundred years, dowel bars have been used in concrete pavements as a means to bridge vehicle loads across adjacent slabs. It is commonly known that dowels can increase pavement performance considerably, particularly in circumstances where heavy traffic or poor soils are present.

Given the increasing cost of construction materials—including steel—seemingly small measures such as the reduction of even one dowel per joint can compound into significant cost savings overall. As long as measures are taken to ensure that pavement performance is not compromised, these cost savings can benefit the owner-agency as they seek out the most efficient use of their budgets.

DowelCAD was created to aid in the optimization of dowel bar design and, by using it, a pavement engineer can determine joint responses to varying dowel sizes or investigate the impact of various alternate dowel bar configurations. Please click on the first link below to download the DowelCAD 2.0* software with the supporting “Innovative Concrete Pavement Dowel Design Guidelines” document embedded in the program or the second link to just download the guidelines document:

DowelCAD 2.0 Software + Dowel Design Guidelines 2.1 MB

Innovative Concrete Pavement Dowel Design Guidelines 0.5 MB

* Version 2.0 of DowelCAD was developed by The Transtec Group for the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) and is built off an application previously developed for American Highway Technology (AHT). Financial support for the development of DowelCAD v2.0 also was provided by the following ACPA Chapters and associations:

Cement Association of Canada North Dakota Chapter – ACPA
Colorado/Wyoming Chapter – ACPA Northwest Chapter – ACPA
Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter – ACPA
Illinois Chapter – ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter – ACPA
Indiana Chapter – ACPA Southeast Chapter – ACPA
Iowa Concrete Paving Association Southwest Chapter – ACPA
Michigan Concrete Paving Association Utah Chapter – ACPA
Mid-Atlantic Chapter – ACPA Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
Missouri/Kansas Chapter – ACPA