Evaluation of Dowel Bar Alignment and Effect on Long-term Performance of Jointed Pavement

Project Details







Rupnow, Tyson D; Icenogle, Patrick; Collier, Zachary


Louisiana Transportation Research Center, Louisiana State University; Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development


Measuring instruments; Pavement performance; Dowel alignment; Dowel bars; Jointed plain concrete pavements



Project description

Dowel bars are the current preferred method for providing load transfer for jointed plain concrete pavements (JPCP). For proper load transfer to occur, the dowels must be placed properly, i.e., in the middle of the slab, horizontal to the grade, and in the direction of traffic flow. This project evaluated JPCP performance with relation to dowel bar alignment utilizing the new MIT-SCAN2-BT technology. Four to eight jointed concrete pavements of each of the following ages were measured: 0-10 years, 10-20, years, and 20+ years of age to determine the effects of dowel bar misalignment on pavement performance indicators such as faulting, load transfer, and ride quality. Pavements constructed over the past 30 years that contain dowel bars in the joint detail are performing well with regards to measurable faulting. Measured joints were constructed with no horizontal skew, vertical translation, vertical tilt, or horizontal translation. The results indicated that the pavement sections should not exhibit joint lock due to skew or tilt. Acceptable long-term performance was observed in joints with less than 4 in. of embedment and some joints with 2.5 to 3 in. of embedment. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s current dowel placement specifications lead to acceptable long-term joint performance.