Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP) is concrete pavement reinforced with continuous steel bars throughout its length. Used in highway construction, it can be the optimal solution to the needs of road owners and the driving public.
Road owners benefit from CRCP's ability to handle heavy traffic volumes, loads and overloads, without compromising performance. CRCP is cost-effective and virtually maintenance-free. Its design eliminates the need for transverse joints (other than at bridges and other structures) and keeps cracks tight, resulting in a continuous, smooth-riding surface. CRCP provides a perfect support for future overlays. Roadways constructed with CRCP are typically designed to last at least 30 and up to 50 years.
When analyzed over the long-term, CRCP offers the lowest annual cost of any pavement adequate for modern, heavy-duty highways. Costs associated with employing road repair crews, maintaining traffic control and purchasing repair materials diminish because CRCP roadways need minimal upkeep and maintenance. Constructing CRCP does not require the use of specialty materials, construction methods or contractors.
Motorists benefit from the improved road conditions offered by CRCP because the need for vehicle repairs due to beat-up roadways is reduced. Motorists also benefit from better fuel economy when driving on CRCP roadways because the rigid surface reduces rolling resistance. With fewer repairs and reconstruction needed, the likelihood of traffic disruptions and accidents falls dramatically, resulting in shorter commutes. CRCP provides great traction in wet and dry conditions, as well as excellent light reflection for good visibility during the day or at night.
CRCP offers sustainable benefits as well. Reinforcing steel is comprised of 100 percent recycled material and is 100 percent recyclable. Recycled materials are commonly used as concrete mix constituents and can be used as a subbase for CRCP construction.
With a longer service life than roads made of other materials, CRCP provides a long-term solution to meeting increased highway construction and maintenance challenges and revitalizing the nation's interstate systems. Several important stretches of the originally constructed U.S. Interstate System that were built with CRCP are still in use today.
CRCP is also used in the construction of airport runways, railway tracks and warehouse floors. SMDI's partner in this sector is the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.
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CRCP can be the optimal solution to the needs and demands of road owners and the driving public.
The Federal Highway Administration has developed a concrete pavement road map with a strategic plan for research and technology transfer.