Concrete pavement Falkenberg, Sweden: a 20 year review

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Johan Silfwerbrand

The majority of the road network in Sweden consists of flexible pavements. Only a small fraction is rigid pavements and the most recent concrete structure was built ten years ago. This creates a problem as the national experience and knowledge in terms of design and maintenance of rigid pavements is not maintained. It is therefore important to gather and adequately document the performance of existing concrete structures.

One such structure is along the motorway E6 close to Falkenberg on the southwest coast of Sweden built in 1993-1996. The structure is a 28 km long Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP) resting on a cement-treated base. The climate in the area consists of a typical coastal climate with high precipitation and short, relatively warm summers and relatively cold winters with a high number of zero degree changes. Studded tire wear, normally contributing to a large extent to the total rut on the Swedish road network, is only 5 mm after these 20 years. However, the structure is suffering from longitudinal cracking along the outer wheel track that is thought to have been caused by the combined effects of erosion within the cement-treated base, resulting in cavities under the concrete slabs and the fact that the dowel bars are placed too low and thus reducing the load transfer mechanism between the slabs and acting as crack inducers.

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