Concrete and composite (asphalt over concrete) pavement distress frequently occurs in the vicinity of joints or cracks in the concrete slabs. Water can enter into the pavement structure at these locations, leading to concrete deterioration and loss of subgrade support. Permanently patching these weakened areas can extend the pavement life considerably before major rehabilitation or reconstruction becomes necessary. Identifying where these or other distresses are occurring in composite pavements is problematic, however, because the asphalt overlay masks the defects in the underlying concrete. Reflective cracking in the overlay can indicate the presence of the joints or working cracks in the concrete, but the visual appearance of the surface is not a reliable indication of the soundness of the concrete. So, accurately identifying where to patch and how long patches should be is extremely difficult.

The preferred method for repairing these pavements in Indiana and many other states is through the use of full-depth doweled concrete patches with asphalt overlay. In many cases, matching the existing pavement in terms of foundation and pavement materials and layer thicknesses is called for. This can create logistical and construction problems because of the need to perform different types of work with different materials and equipment, often with restricted times for lane closures. This research was undertaken in an attempt to identify best practices used by other states and documented in the literature to improve the identification, construction and performance of patches in composite pavements through a literature review and survey.

Report Number



composite pavement, patching, constructability

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version