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Cold Weather & Concrete Pavements: Troubleshooting & Tips to Assure a Long-Life Pavement


To prevent cold weather-related problems in concrete pavements, both the designer and contractor must be aware of a few key considerations, so that the inherent long life of a concrete pavement can be fully realized. These considerations must occur in all stages of the concrete pavement’s life: design, construction, and maintenance, and they include subgrade preparation, paving during cold weather, using deicing chemicals, and allowing studded tires. Subgrades and subbases must be designed and built to prevent frost heave in the soil. Paving in cold weather often requires the use of insulating blankets to keep the concrete temperature high enough to allow the hydration reaction to occur and prevent the water in the concrete from freezing. The maturity method is an excellent technique to monitor not only the strength gain of the concrete, but also the internal temperature of the slab during cold weather placement. Snow and ice control often require using deicing chemicals and salts, which have the potential to be harmful to concrete pavements, if the pavements are not designed and constructed correctly. Though it is quite costly, concrete pavements can also be designed to withstand the wearing and abrasion from studded tires, but it is best to ban their use. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Waalkes, S.M