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Forensic Evaluation – Southwest Anthony Henday Drive’s Portland Cement Concrete Pavement


A 14-kilometre long section of Southwest Anthony Henday Drive (SWAHD) in Edmonton, Alberta which consists of a Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement was opened to traffic in 2006. Since opening, the roadway has experienced a significant increase in traffic volumes.  The PCC pavement consists of a dowel jointed plain concrete and presently the performance of the pavement is considered to be poor relative to expectations of a longer life pavement. The condition of the pavement is fair to poor, with smoothness (poor ride quality) a major concern. The pavement exhibited joint sealant loss soon after construction and, six years after construction (2012/2013), major rehabilitation activities were undertaken to address various areas exhibiting distresses and poor ride quality.  The completed rehabilitation activities included partial and full depth panel replacements, cross stitching of longitudinal cracks, dowel bar placement at mid-panel transverse cracks, slab jacking, and diamond grinding.  Despite the rehabilitation activities, poor ride quality has continued to be an issue and ongoing maintenance activities have been required to address cracked panels, drainage along the roadway, and joint resealing. Subsequently, additional investigations were undertaken in 2017. This paper discusses the forensic methodology used to investigate the cause(s) of the premature development of distresses and poor ride quality issues.  Site inspections, geotechnical borehole drilling, pavement coring, GPR testing to determine the location of the dowel bars and presence of voids underneath the pavement, analysis of Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS) data, historical pavement smoothness data, Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) data, drainage analysis, profile analysis using LiDAR data, along with other analyses, were undertaken for this investigation.  Results are presented along with potential cause(s) of the poor performance and recommendations for rehabilitation and rehabilitation sequencing.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovations in Pavement Management, Engineering and Technologies (S)
Sharma, V., AReggin, A., Juhasz, M., Mah, W.