Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



Louisiana had experimented with various techniques and treatments to control reflection cracking since the 1970s; however, the cost-effectiveness and performance of these methods had not been reliably evaluated. In addition, scientific evaluation and testing of these treatment methods was not performed on many projects. To ensure successful control of this distress and effective allocation of maintenance funds, there is a critical need to assess the performance of pavement sections across the state built with various treatment methods and to determine the most cost-effective techniques to delay or to prevent reflection cracking in composite pavements. The objective of this study is to evaluate and compare different reflection cracking control treatments by evaluating the performance, constructability, and cost-effectiveness of pavements built with these treatments across the state. To achieve this objective, a survey of current state practices identified the treatment methods that are used or that had been used to delay and mitigate reflection cracking in composite pavements. Based on this survey and a thorough review of LADOTD databases, pavement sections in which reflective crack control treatment methods were used, were identified. Projects with sufficient years in service and with available untreated segments were selected for detailed performance and economic evaluation. In total, the performance of 50 different sites that were constructed with various treatments was monitored for a period ranging from four to 18 years. Results of this analysis assessed the benefits of these crack control techniques in terms of performance, economic worthiness, constructability, and long-term benefits. Among various treatments that were analyzed, saw and seal, and chip seal as an interlayer provided with the most promising results in terms of performance and economic worthiness. However, the cost-effectiveness of fiber-glass grid was not validated as compared to regular HMA overlays. Stress absorbing membrane interlayer and high strain asphalt crack relief interlayer (STRATA®) showed mixed results in terms of performance and cost effectiveness. In addition, there were an insufficient number of projects for stress absorbing membrane interlayer, paving fabrics and high strain asphalt reflective crack relief interlayer to allow for drawing conclusions on the effectiveness of these treatment methods.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Elseifi, Dr.Mostafa