Until the early 1990s, curling and warping of Portland cement concrete pavement did not concern pavement engineers in many transportation agencies. Since beginning construction of the interstate system in the United States in the late 1950s through the late 1980s, the performance of Portland cement concrete pavement has been associated with properties of concrete as a pavement material. In those years developed standards and design guidelines emphasized better concrete materials and construction control. At the time, combining curling and loading stresses was quite controversial due to the nature of the load-carrying capacity of concrete pavement and the occurrence of types of loads. Arguments developed that the types of loads (traffic and curling) rarely occurred at the same time of day. The concrete pavement design principle did not include the effects of curling and warping of concrete pavement as determining design factors in pavement performance.

This research project was initiated as a response from the INDOT Pavement Steering Committee related to the joint spacing of Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement in Indiana. There was an initiative in the Committee to reduce the joint spacing from 18 feet to 15 feet as a way to reduce premature concrete pavement deterioration. There was an indication that some newly paved JPCP had transverse cracks even before the pavement section was opened to traffic.

In this experimental study, several important conclusions were drawn from temperature analysis, stress-strain analysis, and other data analysis. The analysis from this experimental study supports the decision by INDOT to shorten the concrete pavement joint spacing to increase the performance of Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement in Indiana.

Report Number



concrete pavement, curling, performance, JPCP, experiment, SPR-2642

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version


2642_Technical Summary.pdf (474 kB)
Technical Summary