Minnesota Department of Transportation
An area of concern common to portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements is load transfer across joints and cracks. The current design standard for load transfer in new jointed PCC pavements and the rehabilitation of old PCC pavement is to place steel dowel bars at mid-depth of the pavement across the joint or crack (1). The main issues with the use of retrofit and/or new dowels are the high expense associated with the retrofitting operation and the corrosion that has been associated with the use of steel dowels. Three new and experimental dowel bar retrofit designs, that address the issues of high retrofit cost and corrosion susceptibility, were tested in an accelerated manner in order to determine the potential viability of their use for the restoration of load transfer in PCC pavements. Innovations in the three designs included the use of fiber reinforced polymer dowels, grouted stainless steel pipe dowels, and a change in the geometric configuration of the design. An evaluation of test results and recommendations, regarding the use of the designs for the restoration of load transfer in PCC pavements, are presented.
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