Analysis of in situ horizontal joint movements in rigid pavements

Seung Woo Lee, Shelley M. Stoffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Doubts about the reliability of the AASHTO model for predicting rigid pavement joint openings have arisen from a number of researchers on the basis of the observation of significant differences in average in situ measurements from AASHTO predictions. Considerable variation of the magnitude of the joint movements in a given pavement section has also been noted. Previous attempts to determine a linear relationship between joint movement and temperature change could not provide a statistically sound linear relationship because of considerable unexplained scattering. Understanding the patterns of in situ joint movement for various pavement conditions provides valuable information for understanding the cause of the persistent controversy over the effectiveness of joint sealing and its effects on pavement performance and provides many of the necessary inputs for development of a reliable probabilistic joint movement prediction method. A systematic procedure to analyze joint movement data is suggested. Based on the suggested method, the effective ratios of joint movement to change in temperature for 16 pavement sections included in the long-term performance pavement seasonal monitoring program are presented. The causes of scattering and erratic movements are identified and isolated, and a strong linear relationship has been obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1778
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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