The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hosted a “Concrete Pavement Strategic Planning Meeting” in 2019 for the purposes of 1) identifying future needs and directions in concrete pavement design, and 2) the development of strategies to increase the implementation of long-life concrete pavement (LLCP) design and construction. The meeting was attended by knowledgeable concrete pavement experts and practitioners representing agencies, academia and industry partners from throughout the U.S.
Many of the strengths and limitations of current concrete pavement design procedures were identified and discussed. It is recognized that AASHTOWare PavementME Design and other similarly sophisticated procedures represent a quantum technological leap over the empirical design procedures with which they compete (and often replace). However, there are concerns about performance model limitations, the cost-effectiveness of local calibration efforts, the emphasis on surface thickness design (often assuming, rather than designing, support conditions), and other issues.
The potential service and economic benefits of LLCP were also discussed. The impetus for implementation (and benefits documented) by some agencies were described, as were the impediments to implementation (particularly related to cost) for other agencies. Strategies were developed to help overcome the impediments identified and to facilitate broader use of LLCP.
This paper and presentation will summarize the key points raised on each of these issues and will present recommendations for future directions in concrete pavement design and increased implementation of LLCP.