Benefits and costs of jointed plain concrete pavement design features Conference Paper uri icon


  • Highway agencies currently use a wide variety of alternative design features for jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP). These features have evolved over time based on previous field performance, research studies, and designs of other agencies. A methodology for evaluating the benefits and costs of various JPCP design features is presented here. The methodology is based on predicting key distresses and smoothness, applying a performance-based maintenance and rehabilitation policy, and then computing the life-cycle costs of the evaluated design relative to a reference design. The methodology was applied to limited case studies of selected JPCP design features for illustration (slab thickness, base type, permeable drainage layer, joint spacing, load transfer at transverse joints, and widened slabs). The effects were studied for two climatic zones (wet freeze and wet no freeze) and two traffic levels (medium and heavy). Construction costs were estimated with the results from a nationwide survey of contractors, and future costs were estimated with prediction models of distress and smoothness based on nationwide databases. Results from the case studies indicate that the general methodology is reasonable and can be used by pavement designers to evaluate a set of potential JPCP designs at a given project site to achieve the lowest life-cycle costs over the long term.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Gharaibeh, N. G., & Darter, M. I.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Gharaibeh, NG||Darter, MI

publication date

  • January 2001