• Preliminary assessment of effectiveness of precut technique in controlling transverse cracks for asphalt pavement in Interior Alaska

      Netardus, John Jaro; Liu, Juanyu; Zhang, Xiong; Shur, Yuri; Saboundjian, Steve (2016-05)
      Transverse thermal cracking is one of the most common pavement distresses on asphalt pavements in cold climates. Transverse cracks are costly to maintain and unpleasant to drive over. The State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities must seal cracks every summer to prevent further road damage from occurring. A simple solution that is gaining support is the precut technique where saw cuts are installed perpendicular to the road centerline shortly after construction to help relieve thermal stresses that cause cracking. This technique has effectively reduced the effects of natural transverse thermal cracking in other states as well as in Fairbanks, Alaska. This study investigates two road construction projects that include precuts with variable factors including three precut spacing intervals, five precut depths, and five pavement structures. Costs to install precuts are also compared against the cost to maintain a section without precuts in a preliminary cost effective analysis. Crack survey data from both projects have revealed that precutting does reduce transverse thermal cracking. Shorter precut spacing, placing precuts where natural cracks existed prior to construction, deeper precuts, and stronger pavement structures provided the best results. Further observations and more accurate cost data are recommended for an absolute determination of cost effectiveness.