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Utility Cut Restoration

DAVID J, HALPENNY
Portland Cement Association
Skokie. Illinois

INTRODUCTION
THE
DESIGN LIFE
of a city
dependent on
the
pavement
desi~n

loads
ice.

street

is

thickness

and
the
number and
weight
of
it receives while it is in
servOne aspect that is not
accounted

for
in pavement design is the affect of
utility cuts on pavement life.
Utility
cut repairs can drastically shorten the
service life if they are not constructed
properly,
however. a proper restoration
will have no effect on either the design
life or rideability of the pavement.
SIZE AND SHAPE
The shape and dimension of a

and

its

respect

repair

position in the pavement


to

joints

and

edges

with

have

direct relationship with its ability


to
stand up
under
traffic.
Utility cut
restorations
can be classified into the
following five types as shown in Fig. I.
4'

Fig.

3.
EXTERIOR-EDGE REPAIR - a repair
with a
length less than one full
lane
width.
and
a width no less than
4-ft.
One edge lies along the outside edge of
the
pavement and the other a
minimllm
distance
of
2-ft.
from
the
nearest
joint.
4.
INTERIOR-EDGE REPAIR - a repair
with a
iength less than one full
lane
width.
One edge lies along an interior
edge or joint of the pavement anci
the
other a minimum of 2-ft.
from the nearest joint or edge.
5.
INTERIOR
REPAIR - this
repair
has
a
length less than one
full
lane
width,
and
is less than one full panel
wide,
with no edge of the repair
lying
along a
joint or pavement
edge.
The
minimum distance of an edge to the nearest
joint or edge should be
2-ft.
If
less than 2-ft .. the repair shull extend
to
the joint or edge and be
classified
as an edge repair.
In
heavily
trafficked
roadways.
steel
dowels
are drilled and
grouted
into
the remaining slab to improve load
transfer
for plain
doweled
pavement~.
Pavements
with dowels follow the
same
rules and dimensions for utility cuts as
pavements without dowels.
Two additions
used in their construction are the
utilization
of tiebars in all
non-working
transverse
joints.
and
dowels in all
working
transverse joints as
shown
in
Fig. 2.

1. Restoration for plain pavement.

1.
FtTLL-PAVEMENT REPAIR - involves
all
lanes of the pavement.
These
repairs
are usually constructed one
lane
at
a
time and should have a
minimum
width of 6-ft.
Joints that fall within
the
limits of the restoration need
not
be
replaced.
If the utility cut falls
within 2-ft. of a joint. the restoration
must extend to the joint.
2.
SINGLE-LANE REPAIR
- involves
olily a single traffic lane and should be
at
least 6-ft.
in width.
All
joints
that are located within the utility Cllt
must
be replaced in their original
10r:ation.

Fig.

Joints form(ld
ond sealed

2.

Restoration for doweled pavement.

All tiebars are drilled and grouted


into the hardened concrete. and are 1/2in.
diameter by 24 in.
in length.
The
bars are placed at a distance of 3D-in.
center
to center for
the
purpose of
tieing
the restoration to the
existing

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pavement and providing additional


load
transfer.
Dowels provide the same function
as
tiebars
by
increasing
load
transfer
with the exception
that
they
are placed at working control joints and
allow expansion and contraction at these
joints.
The
steel dowels are drilled
and
grouted in place at 12-in.
centers
with dowel dimensions shown in Table 1.
Special
care must be taken
to
insure
alignment
to allow for movement at
the
joint.
Conventionally reinforced concrete
pavements require dowels to be placed in
the same manner and dimensions as
plain
doweled pavements.
There are no tiebars
placed
at
intermediate
non-working
joints.
instead.
after
sawcutting the
existing concrete pavement care is taken
to remove the concrete by jackhammer
to
retain a minimum of 12-in. of the original mesh reinforcing.
During placement
of the new concrete.
the restoration is
tied
into the original pavement by extending
the
existing reinforcing mesh
into the repair and overlapping it with
new steel.
Slab
Depth
in.
6
7

Dowel
Diameter
in.
3/4
7/8

Table 1

Dowel

Total
Dowel Length
in.
14
14
14

bar size

When excavating
for the
utility,
the trench width must be a minimum of GIn. from all edges of the utility cut as
shown in Fig.
3.
Care must be taken to
not
undermine
the
existing
pavement
s 1 a b.

Pig.

3. Trench width for utility cut.


JOINT DESIGN

Transverse and longitudinal control


joints are sawed in concrete pavements
primarily
to
control the formation
of
shrinkage cracks.
Shrinkage cracks occur shortly after placement of the
concrete
due
to
the drying loss
of
mix
water.
Shrinkage cracks are controlled
by sawcutting th~ concrete {laVement
1/4
the
depth of the slab and inducing
the

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crack at the location of the transverse


joint.
Unlike freshly placed concrete, the
purpose
of tbe sawcut for utility cuts
is
to provide a straight vertical
face
that
will not spall and later become a
maintenance problem.
The depth of
the
sawcut
should be approximately 1-1/2 to
2
inches
in depth regardless of
slab
thickness.
The concrete below the
cut
is
removed by a jackhammer to prodllce u
rough
face against which
the concrete
repair is placed (Fig. 3.).
This method
provides load transfer across the restoration
by aggregate interlock as
shown
in Fig.
4.
To aid in concrete removal.
an additional saw cut full depth can be
made approximately 12-in.
in [rom and
parallel
to the cuts made for
the
repair.
This
second cut will allow
the
existing concrete
to
be
lifted away
giving an
edge pnd a small
amount
of
concrete to be jackhammered.

Trench
wall

Fig.

4. Saw Cutting Concrete.


BACKFILLING

When
backfillln(~
the
utility
trench,
every attempt should be mnde t'o
restore
the originHl uniformity o[
Lhf!
subgrade,
This normally involves backfilling with material previou~ly removerl
and compacted
to
a
proper
density.
Backfi-ll
material
that Is not of
the
same type as the rest of the roadway may
resl1lt
in difff!rential movement between
the
road surface and
the
restoration.
This may
be caused by the swelling of
expansive
soils or frost action of
two
dissimilar materials.
If the original excavated material
is
used.
the material mllst be frlle
of
frozen
lumps
of
earth
and
of
rocks
larger than 6-in. in diameter.
Uniformity
is accomplislled by proper choice of
backfilling materials and by compilctlnR
these
materials
in 6-in.
layers at
a
proper moisture content and density.
To
insure
proper compaction
and density,
the
material should be at optimum moisture content as determined by AASHO T99.
or
if fine-grained or
expansive Siliis
are
being used.
compaction at 1 to
3
percent
above optimum moisture content
is recommended.
In
some cases when proper compaction
is
difficult
or
expensive
to
achieve, it may be desireable to place H
contrOlled-density backfill o~ unshrink-

able fill.
Unshrinkable fill mix design'
should
have a maximum coarse
aggregate
size of 1 to 1-1/2 in.
in diameter, and
a
minimum 24 hour compressive
strength
of 10 psi. and a 28 day maximum cqmpressive strength of 60 psi.
As discussed
previously,
subgrade
uniformity
is a key factor in
pavement
performance.
When unshrinkable fill is
used
as backfill material,
the
trench
should be backfilled to a maximum height
of 18-in.
below the bottom of the slab.
The
remainder of the subgrade should be
backfilled with material similar to that
used
beneath
the
pavement
to
insure
uniformity -and
eliminate
differential
movement of the restoration with respect
to the roadway.

CONCRETE MIX DESIGN


The
mix
design
for
a
portland
cement
concrete restoration is normally
the same strength and mix as used in the
mainline pavement.
However, today agencies
are placing restrictions
on
when
the
work will be performed and how long
the
roadway will be closed to
traffic.
On heavily travelled urban freeways. the
contractor may be permitted to close the
roads down during the night and make the
utility cut,
perform the work,
replace
the concrete, and open the road to traffic.
all between the hours of 8:00 p.m.
and 6:00 a.m.
This type of work schedule me~ns that the contractor must
complete the work in 8 to 10 hours.
allowing
the new concrete only 3 to 5
hours
to set, cure, and gain adequate strength
to carry traffic.
Many
states and municipalities are
specifying high-early-strength
concrete
for utility restorations which are capable
of obtaining acceptable compressive
strengths
to carry traffic in as little
as
4 hours.
These
mixtures
normally
contain
600
to 750 pounds of
portland
cement
per
cubic
yard
of
concrete.
High-early-strength
cement,
Type
rII.
may be used when availa~le.
The watercement
ratio
should be kept as low
as
possible
to speed early strength
gain.
An
accelerating admixture can
also
be
added to the mix to achieve higher early
strengths.
The
most commonly used accelerating
admixture used
which
meets
ASTM
C494 requirements is calcium chloride.
Calcium
chloride should not
be
added
in excess of 2% by weight of
the
cement.
In addition. an air-entraining
admixture is normally added to the
mixture
to increase the freeze-thaw
durability
of the concrete.
and to improve
workability
and
consolidation
of
the
repair.
Proper
curing of the concrete
repair
is
also
very
critical
to
the
strength gain.
A white-pigmented, mem-

curing compound should be


brane-forming
soon
as
possible
after
applied
as
finishing.
Some agencies have placed a
layer
of polyethylene over
the
curing
compound,
then
placed
a
l-in.-thick
insulation board on top.
The Insulation
board
retains
the
high
temperatures
generated during the chemical
hydration
of
the
cement.
The high
temperature
helps accelerate the strength gain.

CONCRET.E PLACEMENT
In preparation for concrete
placement,
the subgrade and edges of the old
concrete
should
be
dampened
without
leaving
any standing water on the
subgrade.
All tiebars.
dowels. and reinforcing mesh should be straightened
and
realigned as necessary.
A thin coat of
grease should be applied to the protruding
end of smooth dowel bars but not to
deformed
tiebars.
Any original
reinforcing mesh should be supported in
the
restoration at the proper height.
The
thickness
of the
restoration
should be the depth of the existing slab
plus an additional 2-inches of
concrete
( Fig.

3).

The concrete ShOllld be placed on the


subgrade
and
vibrated
with
internal
vibration.
Care
should
be
taken
to
obtain
adequate
consolidation
around
tiebars
and
dowels.
F~r
a
smoother
ride.
the concrete should be struck-off
in
the
direction paraliel to
traffic.
When
placing mesh
reinforced
concrete
repairs,
the
concrete should be placed
and struck-off at the depth of the reinforcing mesh.
the mesh carefully placed
on the concrete.
and the top course
of
concrete poured and finished.
The
surface
of the repair
should
receive the same surface texture as that
of the adjacent slab.
Transverse and longitudinal
joints
should
be
placed as described
in
the
joint
design
section.
Non-working
joints at the edges of the repair can be
finjshed
flush
against
the
existing
concrete, or if a sealant is required. a
reservoir for placing joint sealers
can
either
be tooled into the plastic
concrete.
or sawc~t after the concrete has
hardened.
White-pigmented
curing
membranes.
wet
burlap,
or polyethylene sheets may
be
used to cure the
concrete
restoration.
The
length
of curing
time
is
dependent
on
the type of concrete
and
weather.

OPENING TO TRAFFIC
The concrete restoration should not
be opened to traffic until the concrete
has attained 75% of the design flexural
strength.

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