Effective Methods to Repair Frost Damaged Roadways

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  09/27/2003


Temperature fluctuations above and below the freezing mark can have pronounced effects on subgrade and aggregate base stability and pavement performance. Frost related pavement damage is caused by frost heave, the expansion and heaving of frost-susceptible subgrade materials as they freeze, and frost boil, the subsequent weakening of those materials as they thaw in spring, decreasing load-carrying capacity. Frost damaged areas are generally found in non-uniform subgrades, subgrades near the groundwater, and subgrades within low areas. Evaluation of repair methods requires an understanding of site conditions; an assessment of the impact that subgrade quality, uniformity, surface and subsurface drainage have had on frost damage; and the best available materials, equipment, and funding. The most successful repair treatments address both subgrade quality/uniformity and surface/subgrade drainage. Appropriate repair methods are presented for different subgrade consistencies and subgrade drainages.

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