According to Committee Co-Chair Scott L. Eilken, owner of Quality Saw & Seal of Bridgeview, Ill., the SNS Research Committee was formed to respond to the age-old industry question about the value of sealing concrete pavement joints. The Committee is working in cooperation with a large number of leading contractors and manufacturers responsible for the sealing and maintenance of pavement joints and cracks across the nation.
"As cost pressures continue, there is increased interest in eliminating transverse joint sealants as a means of lowering the cost of concrete pavements," said Eilken. "However, there is a lack of data in the industry to help guide owners about sealant effectiveness and the long-term impact of using or not using such sealants. Our role is to gather the necessary information to help owners make informed decisions that will ensure long-term effectiveness and best use of their concrete pavements."
The Committee is comprised of academic and transportation specialists with extensive experience in the design and construction of joint sealant systems. Committee members are:
The key priorities of the SNS Committee are to raise the necessary funds to conduct testing, as well as secure partnerships with other agencies in order to pursue the necessary research. Key objectives include:
As part of the effort to construct new test sections, the first project is underway on State Route (SR) 59 project near Joliet, Ill. The project consists of constructing a four-lane facility through an urban area with curb and gutter. Intersections are prevalent within the project limits. The project, comprised of a 9.75-inch thick dowelled Portland cement concrete pavement placed upon a 12-inch base, involves the construction of eight sealed and two unsealed sections. Joints are spaced at 15-foot intervals. The two southbound lanes will be constructed first and are the location of the sealant experiment. The research project design consists of sealing the longitudinal and transverse joints with hot pour and silicone sealants. The transverse joint sealants will be installed in two joint geometries - a single saw cut and reservoir cut. The longitudinal joints will only use a narrow joint geometry. Construction of the test sections began in August and will soon be complete. The northbound lanes, which are not part of the sealant experiment, will be constructed during 2010. Walsh Construction is building the roadway and Quality Saw and Seal is constructing the joint experiment.
Those interested in learning more about the SNS Committee and its findings should contact Co Chairs Scott Eilken of Quality Saw and Seal at 708-728-1895 or Charley Grady of CRAFCO at 602-363-5519.