Reflection Crack Attenuation in Asphalt Pavements

Asphalt overlays are one of the most common tools for rehabilitating existing asphalt and concrete pavements. However, the performance of new overlays is often jeopardized by the cracking distress in the existing pavement. This existing cracking will propagate, or reflect, through the new overlay to the surface. Once reflection cracks appear on the surface of the new pavement, water and debris can enter the subbase and subgrade, affecting pavement strength and reducing the life of the overlay. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has installed two reflection crack reduction techniques in test pavements: Tensar, a grid reinforcing system; and RCI, a polymer modified asphalt-rich interlayer system. This research will compare the rate at which reflection cracking reappears in the test sections with that in the control pavement sections.