Key performance factors related to the deterioration of a joint or crack stiffness in terms of the prediction of faulting or punchout distress are characterized. Over the past decade, several advancements have been made that address various stiffness components that contribute to the transfer of load between adjacent slab segments. An approach is presented that addresses key stiffness components in a rational format in terms of a mechanistic process to address faulting and punchout development. This approach is suitable for both the design and rehabilitation of concrete pavement systems. Components of load transfer are discussed and detailed along with key material parameters relative to a loss of stiffness mechanism triggered by repetitive loading. This discussion leads to a mechanistic erosion model to provide a tie between joint deterioration of the development of voids created by erosive action. This work provides a basis of follow-on efforts to illustrate the sensitivity of key design parameters in an overall design and rehabilitation process.