Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Transport, 171:3 (2018) 166-173.

DOI: 10.1680/jtran.16.00076


Curling and warping of jointed plain-concrete road pavements are not only unfavourable from the structural point of view but also from a functional perspective because road users can perceive different ride qualities during the day due to changes in slab curvature. The use of short slabs, an innovation of traditional jointed plain-concrete pavements, allows a reduction in concrete thickness due to traffic load configurations and also a reduction in curling and warping. The objective of this study was to compare the stability of ride quality in traditional and short-slab pavements. Using a walking profiler, precise international roughness index (IRI) measurements were taken every 10 m on both types of pavements in Chile at different times of the day and over two slab tracks. Roughness measurements using a high-speed laser profilometer over 12 km of additional short slabs in Chile were also considered. Changes in IRI of up to 0·6 m/km were obtained on traditional pavements. In contrast, the results clearly demonstrated the stability of the ride quality offered by short slabs, with users experiencing the same roughness at different times of the day.

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