Prestressed Concrete Pavements: Status Report

by Donald M. Arntzen, (M.ASCE), Chf. Airport Engr.; City of Chicago, Bureau of Engineering, 320 North Clark, Chicago, Ill.,
Corinne S. Bernstein, Asst. News Ed.; Civil Engineering, New York, N. Y. 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 12, Pg. 53-55

Document Type: Feature article


Prestressed concrete is cost-competitive with and requires less maintenance than conventional concrete, but acceptance of prestressed pavements in this country has been slow. While Europe and South America have more than 500 lane miles of airfield pavement, prestressed pavement in this country is still under study. Completed and planned demonstration projects examine use of prestressed airfield and highway pavements. Test cases show that adequate performance is possible with prestressed pavements that are only 40% to 60% as thick as conventional pavements. The amount of concrete can be reduced because of greater bending strength of prestressed slabs. Prestressing minimizes transverse cracking, and the need for fewer joints increases ride quality and decreases maintenance needs. Despite successful demonstration projects, many highway and airfield engineers say prestressed pavements need more testing.

Subject Headings: Concrete pavements | Prestressing | Prestressed concrete

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