Joint seal practices in the United States: Observations and considerations

Dennis A. Morian, Shelley Stoffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In recent years, states have adopted a wide variety of joint sealing practices for jointed rigid pavements, based on local experience. Over time, the adoption of quality control/quality assurance practices has resulted in decreased inspection and attention that ensure compliance with good joint seal installation practices. At this time, several agencies have adopted or are considering a policy of providing for rigid pavement joints by using a single 3-mm (1/8-in.) saw cut. Agencies are either leaving this saw cut unfilled or filling it with hot-poured sealant, recognizing that it is not effectively sealed. This practice may prove acceptable where positive drainage features are naturally occurring (coarse-grained subgrade) or where climates are very hot and dry, resulting in minimal joint movement. Other agencies continue to use established joint-sealing practices with good pavement performance results. This approach continues to be a prudent one, particularly in wet climates with fine-grained subgrade materials. Here slab-support erosion has been shown to result in accelerated deterioration of jointed rigid pavements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1627
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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