Adobe Stock / José 16
Adobe Stock / José 16

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is using long-life concrete to pave 3.2 miles of the Southern Beltway. The concrete mix uses a well-graded aggregate and less water, which results in less shrinkage and better compaction. The project has an on-site concrete plant to produce the concrete, where the entrained air, temperature, and water/aggregate ratio of the mix is monitored. Long-life concrete has been used previously by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for various projects, though the Southern Beltway project is the first to use all elements of the process.

In addition to less water and more coarse aggregate, the process includes changes in the load transfer bars placed every 15 feet on the subsurface before paving, a new polymer for curing, and tining in the direction traffic uses the road.

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