Q.: I'm designing a new fleet shop for the company where I work. Tractor trailers will drive out of the fleet shop, which has a concrete floor, onto an asphalt parking area. My concern is load transfer from the concrete to the asphalt. Should the asphalt be thickened at the joint? Would dowel bars be beneficial? I need a long-lasting, durable joint.
A.: You won't be able to transfer load directly from a concrete slab to a flexible pavement. If you're stuck with an asphalt parking lot, the best approach is to pave a concrete apron around the building, with a slope that will ensure adequate drainage away from the building. Thoroughly compact the subgrade and base material adjacent to the apron, and slope the asphalt lot to minimize water penetration at the joint. Pay particular attention to asphalt compaction at the joint.