ICT Evaluates Joint Durability from Early Entry Sawing

Early entry sawing is an attractive operation to expedite the construction of jointed concrete pavements, especially in urban areas where contractors need to “get in, get it done, and get out.” However, there have been some concerns that early entry sawing may compromise the pavement’s long-term performance. ICT investigated whether this method provides value to IDOT construction projects without affecting the pavement’s long-term joint durability.

The investigation was integrated into an active construction project along Illinois Route 59 in Plainfield, IL. During construction, paving and sawing operations were observed and documented; of particular interest were the sawing operations, during which signs of surface scarring, joint raveling, and slab edge breakouts were recorded and the extent of sawing-related damage was subjectively assessed. The investigators developed a visual rating index for the extent of damage observed initially and in the months following construction to assess any possible further deterioration.

Overall, no notable differences were found in field performance or laboratory test results between the different joint sawing operations studied. The results suggest that early entry sawing is a viable approach to the creation of joints in PCC pavements and should not cause any damage to the pavement nor the joint face over time as a durability issue. The continued use of early entry sawing will save time and money during IDOT construction projects.
Investigators: Thomas Van Dam, Kurt Smith, and James Krustulovich