Field Evaluation of Crack Sealing of Asphalt Concrete Pavements in Alaska

AUTC project number: 510005

PI(s):

Juanyu (Jenny) Liu

Funding:
  • AUTC
  • ADOT&PF
  • Start Date: Aug 1, 2011
  • End Date: Dec 31, 2012

Project Summary

For years, routine sealing of cracks in asphalt concrete (AC) has cost the State of Alaska millions of dollars annually. Without new technology to eliminate the cracking, sealing and minor patching will continue to be a major expense for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF). Hoping to identify key cost saving measures, this project aims to find possible improvements to existing crack sealing methods.

Juanyu (Jenny) Liu of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is working with field researchers to examine current crack sealing practices and materials, concentrating efforts in Alaska's cold weather regions in hopes of determining potential improvements. According to research, it may be possible to ignore cracks entirely under certain circumstances with no negative effects. Hoping to devise more economically sound approaches to road repair, Liu and others aim to determine where sealing is necessary and where it is not. They are also looking at the effectiveness of repair treatments for major transverse cracks.

Ultimately, the team will provide recommendations for saving a significant portion of the O&M budget funds now spent on crack sealing and minor patching of major transverse cracks. The study is also working to identify areas within Alaska that do not require routine sealing and tp propose a practical statewide approach for sealing/patching major transverse cracks. The research will also provide ADOT&PF with research findings that can integrate into departmental guidelines for pavement preservation treatments in Alaska.