For more than 40 years, transportation engineers have been experimenting with precast concrete as a more cost-effective and efficient means of paving the roads that make up our communities.
Identified by FHWA as a viable pavement technology, the Precast Pavement Systems (PCPS) carries a number of beneficial characteristics with it such as speedy construction scheduling and increased safety for workers and the public as exposure is reduced. PCPS not only matches the durability of traditional cast-in-place pavements but it also requires less energy to install.
As PCPS panels are cast in a factory setting rather than at the construction site, tighter mix design requirements can be implemented and production can be more efficient – and if repairs are required, the PCPS method allows for shorter shutdown periods and faster completion schedules. This means that costs associated with congestion delays and community disruption are also limited.
By combining offsite manufacturing of pavement with in-place construction, contractors are provided with opportunities to reduce the job site work force size as well as overall construction costs. One such example where this is being done is the Pavement and Slab Replacement Project on the Foothills Freeway by Lost Angeles. This project includes two lanes that are being replaced with PCPS, which will include 6,500 slabs casted by Oldcastle Precast, Fontana, California.
Photo credit: Oldcastle Precast