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Concrete Paving

Photo courtesy of WSDOT Eastern Division
High flexural strength concrete is being tested on parts of I-90 near Spokane.

I-90 Argonne to Sullivan paving project

Location: Spokane area

Owner/developer: Washington State Department of Transportation (Eastern Division)

Project team: Scarsella Brothers, general contractor; Acme Concrete Paving, concrete contractor and ready-mix supplier

Severe rutting, up to 1.5 inches deep, in the wheel paths of the existing asphalt pavement on Interstate 90 near Spokane was a safety hazard, especially when wet. Also, traffic often exceeded the road’s capacity during the rush hour. Both of those deficiencies were addressed by this project.

Rutting was caused by the use of steel studded tires in the winter. In a sense, the entire project is a test section to see how different concrete pavements perform under those conditions. The project required a concrete mix that was capable of providing a minimum flexural strength of 800 psi in 14 days, rather than the typical 650 psi. A test section of 650 psi concrete was placed for a side-by-side comparison with the 800 psi concrete.

Test sections using 925 pounds of cement per cubic yard and HardCem in both 650 psi and 800 psi pavements were placed. Wear on these pavements will be evaluated over the next several years.

In addition to the pavement, concrete was also used in other parts of the project, including the center median barrier, noise walls and foundations for signs, luminaries and noise wall shafts.

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