Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date


Performing Organization

Marquette University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Contract or Grant Number

WisDOT SPR # 0092-45-79, 0092-45-80 and 0687-45-79


This report presents the findings of a study of alternate pavement designs targeted at reducing the initial construction costs of concrete pavements without compromising pavement performance. Test sections were constructed with alternate dowel materials, reduced dowel placements, variable thickness concrete slabs and alternate surface and subsurface drainage details. Performance data was collected out to 5 and 7 years after construction.

The study results indicate that FRP composite dowels may not be a practical alternative to conventional epoxy coated steel dowels due to their reduced rigidity, which results in lower deflection load transfer capacities at transverse joints. Ride quality measures also indicate higher IRI values on sections constructed with FRP composite dowels. Study results for sections constructed with reduced placements of solid stainless steel dowels also indicate reduced load transfer capacity and increased IRI values as compared to similarly designed sections incorporating epoxy coated dowels. Reduced doweling in the driving lane wheel paths also is shown to be detrimental to performance for most constructed test sections. The performance of sections with reduced doweling in the passing lane wheel paths indicates that this alternate may be justifiable to maintain performance trends similar to those exhibited by the driving lane with standard dowel placements.

Performance data from sections constructed with variable slab geometry and drainage designs indicate that one-way surface and base drainage designs are performing as well or better than standard crowned pavements with two-way base drainage. The drainage capacity of the base layer, constructed with open graded number 1 stone, appears sufficient to handle all infiltrated water.


Cost Effective Concrete Pavement Cross Sections - Final Report (WI/SPR-03-05). Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquette University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (2006).