• Continued Field Evaluation of Precutting for Maintaining Asphalt Concrete Pavements with Thermal Cracking

      Liu, Jenny; Zhao, Sheng; McHattie, Robert (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2017-08)
      In continuation of a previously completed project entitled Evaluate Presawn Transverse Thermal Cracks for Asphalt Concrete Pavement, this project was a further effort to understand important variables in the thermal cracking process through continued field monitoring of three precutting test sites in Interior Alaska. The test sites included (1) Phillips Field Road, precut in 1984 (≈ west ¼ mile of this road), (2) Richardson Highway precut in 2012 (≈ MP 343–344), and (3) Parks Highway precut in 2014 (≈ MP 245–252). Preliminary results at relatively short periods (up to 4 years) indicate that precutting is an economically promising way to control natural thermal cracks. Even short-term economic benefits appear to range between about 2% and 21%. The degree to which precutting works for an AC pavement appears to be a function of the thickness and general structural robustness of new construction. Shorter precut spacing, along with stronger and/or thicker pavement structures, looks promising with respect to crack control. Continuing evaluation and monitoring of test sections are needed to recommend an effective design methodology and construction practice for Alaska and cold areas of other northern states.