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J.N.E.C. Aurangabad Page 1



suggests this type of pavement is reinforced throughout in longitudinal direction. This type of
pavement has no transverse joints unless and until there is end of pavement or the pavement
comes in contact with some other pavement or bridge. A longitudinal joint exists only if the
road is wider than 14 feet. Due to reduction of joints smooth and continuous riding is
possible resulting in fuel saving. Also CRCP roads are maintenance free if properly
constructed and care is taken while placement of steel. Once CRCP roads are constructed
they need not to be taken care of for the next 50-60 years.
The principal behind this roads is that Let the road crack, exactly opposite as in case
of other type of roads where we avoid crack formation at any cost. CRCP is aloud to crack
due to which stresses in the pavement are released. The cracks formed are held tightly by the
reinforcement, due to which widening and deepening of cracks is restricted. Hence we can
conclude that in CRCP controlled cracking is permitted.
The initial cost of CRCP is high, but as it is maintenance free, and lasts for decades,
overall cost of CRCP is less as compared to other type of reinforced concrete pavements.
Study and observations have shown that this type of roads are alarmingly successful, hence
CRCP is widely used in USA, GERMANY, BRITAN, and several other developed and
developing nations.
Use of CRCP will enhance the cement, and steel industries; it will reduce the fuel
consumption by vehicles, and will save lots of money required for frequent construction and
repairs of other type of pavements.
Considering all above aspects CRCP will surely boost the economy of any country.

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Transport is a vital infrastructure for rapid economic growth of the country. Speedy
transportation of natural resources (such as raw materials), finished goods and perishable
materials to all parts of the country including the points of export outlets are basic inputs to
economic growth. Recently there has been a major shift in transportation mode from
Railways towards the Road sector. Now a days about 60% of freight and 80% of passenger
transport is met by Road transport in India, which demonstrates the need for development of
a good road network.

In India flexible pavement (bitumen) is most common for both national and state highways.
Majority of roads under NHDP are also built with conventional bitumen pavements
considering its lower initial cost, though the life cycle cost of these pavements are very high
compared to rigid pavements due to frequent repairs and also need for complete resurfacing
at interval of 4-5 years.

Further fuel consumption of vehicles is much higher on this type of pavement than that on
rigid pavement. In advanced countries rigid pavement is increasingly being used due to large
number of benefits it offers. Considering durability of concrete pavements some portion
of Delhi - Mathura and Mumbai - Pune expressway was built with jointed concrete
pavement. But their performances are not very satisfied due to joint failure and
maintenance problems.

Continuously reinforced concrete pavement, (CRCP) eliminates the need for transverse joints
(other than at bridges and other structures) and keep cracks tight, resulting in a continuous,
smooth-riding surface that is virtually maintenance free. Life cycle cost of CRCP based on
study carried out by INSDAG2 for highways and expressways is much lower compared to
flexible pavement and also marginally cheaper compared to jointed plain cement concrete

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What is CRCP?

Concrete pavement in which the longitudinal reinforcing steel is continuous

throughout the pavement length.

It is a joint less concrete pavement sufficiently reinforced to control cracking,

without the aid of weakened transverse joints such as are used in ordinary or
conventional type of jointed concrete pavement. Reinforced bars in the concrete
are lapped to form continuous reinforcement holding the pavement together in
all kinds of weather and preventing formation of large cracks that would
otherwise reduce the service life of the pavement. CRCP has all the good
features of concrete pavements such as durability, high structural strength,
nonskid surface and good visibility at night, wet or dryfeatures which make
concrete, and especially continuously reinforced concrete, a permanent road
surfacing material

Pavement -
Roads for this generation
and the next.

Built continuously
reinforced concrete
pavement today, and forget
it for next 50-60 years.

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Airports pavements are generally thicker than highway pavements and require better
surfacing materials because the loading and tire pressure of aircraft are much greater than
those of highway vehicles. Airports will have to upgrade their runways with stronger, longer
lasting materials than asphalt or even conventional jointed concrete. Continuously
reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) can meet this challenge. CRCP offers greater
durability, structural strength, a smoother surface, and better visibility characteristics
.According to Mr. Peter Mok, Chief Engineer, Air Force Plant 42

Military aircraft are notorious for being pavement destroyers. Despite the heavy loads and
continual use, the performance of CRCP runway has been terrific3.

In CRCP reinforcement steel is an important element and it offers the following functions:

1. Holds crack tight

2. Facilitates load transfer across cracks
3. Provides stiffness by restraining end movement

About 250 tonnes of reinforcement steel and approximately 2000 tonnes of cement
will be consumed for building 1 Km length 18 m wide 4-lane carriageway CRC pavement.
The total requirement for converting 25% of the proposed 36000 Km highway pavement will
be in the order of 2.25 million tones of reinforcement steel. The requirement of reinforcement
of steel may exceed 3.0 million tones for highway development alone if we also consider 48
new road projects approved in this years budget. The implementation of CRCP will not only
benefit the steel and cement industry but the nation will also gain a lot because it reduces the
transportation costs drastically and minimizes the accidents on highways.

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Continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) is concrete pavement reinforced

with continuous steel bars throughout its length. Its design eliminates the need for transverse
joints (other than at bridges and other structures) and keep cracks tight, resulting in a
continuous, smooth-riding surface that is virtually maintenance-free. The whole idea of
CRCP is based essentially on the so-let-it-crack philosophy rather than the difficult concept
of avoiding cracks at any price6. The principle in CRCP is to confine random cracking to
acceptable spacings and crack widths so that the slab performs the same as if no crack exists,
i.e. equal deflection at cracks and the midspan of the slab. In an unreinforced slab, cracks
which occur will normally widen and get progressively worse under the effects of traffic and
climatic conditions. During the contraction of the concrete fine dirt enters the wide cracks ,
leading to faulting , spalling and cracking and blow-ups develop , requiring extensive repairs
and early surfacing to restore the smooth surface. The amount of reinforcement required to
control the cracking is relatively smaller for shorter spans. As length of the slab increases
amount of steel needed also increases. However, the steel is not directly proportional to the
slab length, as is usually assumed in the design of conventional jointed reinforced pavement.
The steel requirement vs. the amount of steel at a progressively decreasing rate as the slab
length increases and reaching a maximum at slab length of 180 to 240 meters. Beyond this
the steel requirement does not increase.


CRCP is an asset for todays and tomorrows heavily traveled high-speed roadways.
The excellent service of CRC pavements is reflected in the following significant operational

1. Joint less concrete pavement, CRCP offers excellent smooth

riding surface for the vehicles that maximizes the comfort for the passengers.

2. CRCP is more durable, which can last 40-50 yrs without much
maintenance problem during the life of the pavement. Concrete actually hardens over
time. After its first month in place, concrete continues to slowly gain about 20%

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Strength in first 12 months.

3. It needs minimal cost of maintenance and rehabilitation.

4. It minimizes the detrimental dynamic loads that are applied to the vehicles and
5. It offers best visibility. Concrete reflects light, which increases
visibility and can save on street lighting costs. During summer riding over flexible
pavement causes difficulties due to bitumen sticking to the tires. Visibility also gets
affected due to shining appearance of flexible pavement.

6. CRCP provides best traction grip there by leading to reduction in accidents CRC
pavements are easily roughed up during construction to create a surface that
provides superior traction and reduced accidents. Ease in driving with reduced mental
tension and overall improvement in quality of driving.
7. Air and noise environment improve along the thickly populated existing corridor.
Concentrations of CO and NOX are expected to reduce by around 70 % and 45%
respectively. The noise level would reduce substantially.
8. Concrete can withstand even the heaviest traffic loads. Theres no need to worry
about ruts, shoving effects common with asphalt pavement.
9. Concretes hard surface makes it easier for rolling wheels. Studies have even shown
that this can increase truck fuel efficiency. Savings in fuel to the extent of 20%, may
be considered ultimately reducing the vehicle operating cost.
10. Concrete roads facilitate increased speed and thereby savings in time and money.
Almost maintenance free service reduces traffic disturbances and thus reduces man-
hour loss to the road users.
11. Use of CRCP drastically can reduce import of bitumen there by leading to saving of
foreign currency.
With the potential to accommodate any level of traffic, under climatic extremes,
CRCP has a longer service life than roads made of other materials. This longevity is
advantageous to road owners and drivers and can be the long-term answer to revitalizing
todays highways and expressways as they reach the end of their service lives.

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The volume changes stresses in CRCP will be taken care by providing sufficient
reinforcement to keep the cracks tightly closed while maintaining adequate pavement
thickness to counteract the stresses produced by wheel loads. CRCP allows the concrete to
develop very fine transverse cracks that seem to be uncontrolled and random.
The spacings of transverse cracks that occur in CRCP is an important variable that
directly affect the behaviour of the pavement. Relatively large distances between cracks
result in high steel stresses at the crack and in excessive crack widths. A decrease in crack
spacing reduces the steel stresses and crack widths.


The limits on crack spacing are based on the possibility of spalling and punchouts.
Based on experience, the maximum spacing between consecutive cracks should be limited to
2.4m to minimize spalling. To minimize the potential of punchouts, the minimum desirable
crack spacing is about 1.1m.


The limit on crack width is based on a consideration of spalling and water infiltration.
The crack width should be reduced as much as possible through the selection of higher steel
percentage or smaller diameter reinforcing bars. As per AASHTO stipulation the allowable
crack width should not exceed 1.0mm.


The limiting stress of 75% of the ultimate tensile strength is recommended. AASHTO
Design Nomographs and Equation are available for determining the percentage of
longitudinal reinforcement to satisfy the criteria of crack spacing, crack width and steel stress
The optimum amount of steel reinforcement is selected in CRCP so that crack
spacing lies between 1.1m to 2.4m, the crack width is less than 1.0mm and steel stress does

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not exceed 75% of the ultimate tensile strength. CRCP allows the use of slightly smaller load
transfer co-efficient compared to JPCP. And hence the thickness requirement is less
compared to JPCP. The maximum desirable crack spacing is derived from a correlation
between crack spacing and incidence of spalling. Maximum crack spacing is derived from
consideration of effect of slab length on the formation of punchouts.


The amount and depth of longitudinal reinforcing steel are the most important aspects
of steel reinforcement in CRCP as it affects transverse crack spacing and the width of the
cracks. The longitudinal reinforcement in CRCP is used to control the fine transverse cracks
that form due to volume changes in the concrete. The function of steel is to hold the random
cracks tightly closed, to provide structural continuity and to minimize the penetration of
potentially damaging surface water and incompressible.


These are the main reinforcement in CRCP. The total area of longitudinal reinforcing
bars required usually is stated as a percentage of the cross-sectional area of the pavement.
The amount of longitudinal reinforcing bars is generally between 0.5% and 0.7% and it may
be more where weather conditions are severe and also the temperature differentials are more.
Transverse reinforcements are useful to support the longitudinal steel when the steel is preset
prior to concrete placement. Transverse reinforcement may be lesser grade.


The function of the bars is as follows:

1. To support the longitudinal bars and hold them at the specified spacing. When used for
this purpose, the longitudinal bars are tied or clipped to the transverse steel at specified

2. To hold unplanned longitudinal cracks that may occur tightly closed. Causes of
unplanned longitudinal cracking include late or shallow longitudinal joint sawing, improper
installation of longitudinal joint inserts, and sub-base or subgrade irregularities.

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In order to ensure the quality of construction proper care has to be taken for checking the
grade and size of reinforcement bars. The identification marks on steel reinforcement
facilitate field checking to assure incorporation of the specified reinforcement in the
constructed pavement. Close inspection of reinforcing bar splice details and construction
joints is necessary.
A variety of methods have been used through the years to install the steel reinforcing
bars in CRCP with varying degrees of success. Of these methods, manual presetting of the
steel prior to concrete placement, and mechanized feeding of the longitudinal bars through
parallel tubes contained within the concrete spreader during concrete placement, have


Brief details of design and cost estimation of a typical 4 Lane (18m wide)
carriageway pavement has been presented below along with cost comparison of CRCP with
JPCP and flexible pavement options. INSDAGs publication Life Cycle Cost Analysis and
Techno-Economic Study for the use of Reinforced Concrete Roads for National Highways
and Expressways may be referred for detail design calculations for various traffic data.
The following parameters are considered for design2:
1. Design Life (a) 20 years for Flexible pavement
(b) 30 years for Rigid pavements.

2. Traffic Density (a) 5000 Vehicles/day on 4-lane road

1. Concrete grade: M40
2. Grade of steel: Fe 415
3. Maximum temperature differential between top and bottom of Slab = 21C (The
maximum value for India as per IRC 58)
4. Difference between mean temperatures of the slab at the time of construction and
coldest period = 30C (Assuming 35C at the time of construction and 5C at coldest
CRCP = 241.50 TONNES

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Item Flexible JPCP CRCP


Design Code IRC-37 IRC-58 British-HD AASHTO93

26 / 94,
Part-3,vol. 7, adjusted as
section 2 UTCA report)

Total pavement 800 675 625 610

thickness (mm)

Grade of - M40 M40 M40


Spacing of - 4.25 m - -

PQC-Thk.mm - 300 250 230

Steel - Only at joints 0.69% 0.57%

reinforcement occasionally thin
long - 16mm @ long 16 mm @
mesh in top
140mm c/c 140
Trans 12 mm c/c
mm@ 600 mm
Trans 12 mm
@ 600

mm c/c

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Durability Poor (5-6 years) Long (>30 Long (>30 years)


Saving in Fuel - 10-20% 10-20%

Maintenance High Less Very less

World Poor Good reports Very good reports. 4500 km in

experience performance USA; all states have started using

Construction Easy Special care is More special care needed


Expertise in the Very large Yes Yes


Corrosion No Reinforcement Joints are practically eliminated.

problem at joints needs Cracks do not propagate due to
periodic reinforcement. No corrosion
protection problem.

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Flexible JPCP CRCP

Material & labour 252.38 298.04 303.55

Interest during Construction 20.73 11.92 12.14

Initial Direct cost 273.10 309.96 315.69

Percentage of initial direct cost 100% 113.5% 115.6%

Extra in Direct Initial Cost over - 36.86 42.59


Saving in VOC over Flexible 409.99 - -

Maintenance cost 109.08 25.30 1.30

Revenue due to early Completion - (-) 33.39 (-) 33.39

Total Life Cycle Cost 792.17 301.87 283.60

Percentage of total LCC cost 100% 38.10% 35.8%

Saving in LCC w.r.t. Flexible - 490.30 508.57

Saving in LCC w.r.t. Flexible (%) - 61.9% 64.2%

LCC without considering fuel saving 382.18 301.87 283.60

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Longitudinal joints are necessary to relieve stresses caused by concrete shrinkage and
temperature differentials in a controlled manner and should be included when pavement
widths are greater than 14 feet. Pavements greater than 14 feet wide are susceptible to
longitudinal cracking. The joint should be constructed by sawing to a depth of one-third the
pavement thickness. Adjacent slabs should be tied together by tie bars or transverse steel to
prevent lane separation. Tie bar design is discussed in the FHWA Technical Advisory
entitled "Concrete Pavement Joints.
(a) A construction joint is formed by placing a slotted header board across the pavement to
allow the longitudinal steel to pass through the joint. The longitudinal steel through the
construction joint is increased a minimum of one-third by placing 3-foot long shear bars
of the same nominal size between every other pair of longitudinal bars. No longitudinal
steel splice should fall within 3 feet of the stopping side or closer than 8 feet from the
starting side of a construction joint. Refer to paragraph 4b(1) (e) for recommended
splicing patterns. If it becomes necessary to splice within the above limits, each splice
should be reinforced with a 6-foot bar of equal size.
(b) Special provisions for the protection of the headerboard and adjacent rebar during
construction may be nice.


CRCP can extend to any level till bridge structures or any other pavement obstructs
them. The free end of the CRCP, unless restrained, can be expected to undergo outward
movements of up to and sometimes exceeding 50mm. Annual movements of up to 25mm to
50mm also can be expected. These movements can be either accommodated or restrained for
protection of abutting installations. The most widely used system of accommodation in
current application involves the use of a wide-flange beam joint; the most widely used
system of restraint involves the use of anchoring lugs.

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What are terminal joints, and why are they needed in continuously- reinforced
concrete pavements (CRCP)?

A terminal joint is used in continuously reinforced concrete pavement (see CRCP) to

transition to another pavement type or to a bridge structure. They are found at the beginning
and end of a CRC paving job, as well as spaced periodically in between, depending on the
length of the job. Their function is to (1) isolate adjacent pavement types or structures, and
(2) anchor the CRCP so that excessive movement does not occur. Terminal joints
accomodate differential horizontal movements and prevent damage between a pavement and
another pavement or structure. Because pavement performance can be significantly affected
by the planned use and location of terminal joints, care should be taken in their design.


There are a number of terminal joint designs in service today. The performance of
some designs has been better than others. The following figures illustrate the recommended
and possible terminal joint designs

Figure1. Recommended Terminal Joint Design

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(a) The WF beam joint consists of a WF beam partially set into a reinforced concrete sleeper
slab approximately 10 feet long and 10 inches thick. The top flange of the beam is flush with
the pavement surface. Expansion material, sized to accommodate end movements, is placed
on one side of the beam along with a bond-breaker between the pavement and the sleeper
slab. In highly corrosive areas the beam should be treated with a corrosion inhibitor. Several
States have reported premature failures of WF beams where the top flange separated from the
beam web. Stud connectors should be welded to the top flange, as shown in Figure 1, to
prevent this type of failure. Table 4 and Figure 1 contain recommended design features

WIDE FLANGE Beam (weight and dimensions)

CRCP Embedment Flange Web

thickness in WF Beam Thickness
"Sleeper Size
(in ) Width Thickness (in. )
slab - in.

8 6
14 x 61 10 5/8 3/8
9 5

10 6
16 x 58 8-1/2 5/8 7/16
11 5

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Figure 3. Typical Lug Anchor Terminal Treatment

(b) The lug anchor terminal treatment generally consists of three to five heavily reinforced
rectangularly shaped transverse concrete lugs placed in the subgrade to a depth below frost
penetration prior to the placement of the pavement. They are tied to the pavement with
reinforcing steel. Since lug anchors restrict approximately 50 percent of the end movement of
the pavement an expansion joint is usually needed at a bridge approach. A slight undulation
of the pavement surface is sometimes induced by the torsional forces at the lug. Since this
treatment relies on the passive resistance of the soil, it is not effective where cohesionless
soils are encountered. Figure 3 shows a typical lug anchor terminal treatment

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1. Continuously reinforced concrete pavement, CRCP, is the most economical option for
highways as its LCC is much lower, by about Rs 5crore/Km (4-lane carriageway; 18 m
wide) compared to that of flexible pavement and compared to plain concrete, its LCC is
lower by Rs 18.27 lac for the assumed rates based on Mumbai - Pune Expressway
experience. These savings will be much higher for 6 and 8 lane carriageway.
2. The major part of the benefit (about 80%) in respect of rigid pavement over flexible is on
account of well established fuel saving.
3. Compared to flexible pavement, CRCP gives additional design life of at least 10 years.
Further, it offers much better riding quality, less dislocations to traffic movement and
substantial saving in vehicle operating cost comprising reduced consumption of fuel,
lubricants etc.
4. In view of long term economy and potential saving in precious foreign exchange
Government has announced that atleast 25% of the proposed 48 new roads of
approximate budget of Rs. 40,000 crore will be made of concrete roads. Considering
durability and maintenance free service of CRCP it is desirable to construct all these
concrete roads with CRCP.
5. The reinforcement requirement will be in the order of 3.0 million tones for highway
development alone, which will be consumed in next 5-6 years. The reinforcement
requirement will be much higher when construction of others associated structures is also
6. Thermo mechanically treated, TMT, bars are desirable for CRCP pavement. Corrosion
resistant TMT bars may be used in corrosion prone areas.
7. The demerit of CRCP is its high initial cost & difficulty in repair works required to be
done if not constructed properly.

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1. NHAI website.
2. Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Techno-Economic Study for the Use of Reinforced
Cement Concrete Roads in National Highways and Expressways; INSDAG
3. Reinforced Concrete Airports web site of Cement Reinforcing Steel Institute
4. Raymond Sharp, 1997, Cement Concrete Roads, National Seminar on Concrete
Roads and Pavements, Kolkata.
5. Handbook on Cement Concrete Roads,2000,CMA, New Delhi.
6. Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement Design and Construction Practices in
USA, Web Site of Cement Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI).
7. HD 29/94, Volume 7, section 2, part 3 Pavement Design and Maintenance- Design
Manual for Roads and Bridges, British Standard.
8. Concrete Pavement Performance in the Southeastern United States,University
Transportation Center for Alabama, Tuscaloosa, UTCA Project Number 99247,
September 2000
9. E J Yoder Concrete Roads Alternate Construction Methods, Brajendra Singh,
Principles of Pavement Design, National Seminar on Concrete Roads & pavements,

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