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RE: Longevity of freeways, our 110 freeway is 70 years old... perhaps the misalignment of expansion joints is just from the constant pounding of millions of cars running down the road?

Jim also has a good point, our freeways were designed with 50's-60's automobiles in mind
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
You know what? You are absolutely correct. I don't know too many sections in OC that ride like that except for a small area on the 55 going north. I don't driver the 405 unless I absolutely have to. All that money spent putting in an additional lane between Sunset and the Valley did freaking nothing for traffic. Its just as bad as before. The 73 is amazing, like riding on glass.

There's a new section of the 60 way out in Riverside that goes on for miles. I do noticed this only happens on many of new sections of our fwys. I want to say almost every single one. I am more sensitive because I feel it more in my truck or my Cayman due to the stiffer suspension.
I remember when they opened the 57 freeway, smooth as glass from the orange crush through Brea.
Then it started getting a little rough over the years until it got pretty bad.

In the 90's they cut grooves in the concrete squares at the joints and installed metal connectors and epoxied them in and ground the surface to make it smooth and stay that way.

Then they ground the surface smooth again a few years ago.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:38 PM
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Remember when the speed limits were changed to 55 and there were concerns that the distance between the expansion joints were tuned to the trucks going 70 and were tearing up the hwy's.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyg2 View Post
I don't work in that industry and don't have any knowledge of it other than what I've read or observed but this question did come to mind ....
Suppose you were a state that is challenged with budget issues, and the federal gubmint has offered to pay a pretty good-sized chunk of the cost to fix your roads.

Would you:
a) spend a lot more than they give you to do it once every 20 years

or

2) spend just as much as they give you even if you have to do it every 10 years?
Sammy, the way it works is the Fed DOT is the keeper of the big pie of $, and it comes from the highway user fund and other Federal appropriations. You know if it's Fed, it is complicated. Each state puts in their request for $ based on multiyear plans of proposed projects, including maintainence and new construction. Each region or district of each state puts in their request for their own plan of work and some get what they need and others don't. Only so much money. Obviously the big important places like LA or SF get the biggest share based on need The furthest out, east BF counties get the least.
.
Since many states are near broke, the states often can't come up with the state share of the match, ie, Feds kick in 80%, States and locals kick in the other 20%. The sad thing is sometimes projects don't get let to bid because the States can't cover their 20% share and the Fed dollars can get re-allocated elsewhere. This is especially true in states with big, fat social programs and hungry mouths. The road money goes to feed the poor because highways don't protest to the politicians. So some big highway maintenance jobs don't get done timely and then those needs just get worse, and the pavements completely fail. And on and on.
Old 01-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmandue View Post
RE: Longevity of freeways, our 110 freeway is 70 years old... perhaps the misalignment of expansion joints is just from the constant pounding of millions of cars running down the road?

Jim also has a good point, our freeways were designed with 50's-60's automobiles in mind
Hey, you drive that section daily. Going south, from around Manchester all the way past the 105 and stops around Rosecrans. That whole section was repaved not long ago, not more then two to three years old. If new, why is it so bad? Number one lane and Fast track is really bad. I have been going to Torrance once a week.
Old 01-16-2019, 02:31 PM
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See the photos I posted. In the first photo, see those damn ridges behind the little silver car? Those damn thing is what I am talking about. It even more prominent in the second pic. Its all over the entire fwy. All those sections are new. This isn't settling over 5-10 year beating to hell by big trucks, its new?
Old 01-16-2019, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Richards View Post
Jeff, here’s your solution...loose the truck and buy this. Plenty of space for your tools. Get a roof rack for construction materials if necessary. Float along over those road imperfections in style. Think of your man boobs!

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/d/long-beach-1964-cadillac-coupe-deville/6789314505.html

I remember riding in one of those back in the mid 70s when I was young. The interior was huge and the velour seats. I was thinking, this is cool and fancy. I will look cool all right

Thankfully, I don't have to drive that big old truck often. Once a month to keep things running. loaded up isn't hat bad. That's my Alaska road trip truck. My poor wife will be in it for more then a month She's gonna to be pissed
Old 01-16-2019, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hcoles View Post
In the past and I think also recently highway projects are put out to bid. They may or may not be awarded to the lowest bidder. The "plans" specify the required sub-grade preparation and smoothness of the final surface along with specifications on all of the required material. For example required compaction for the sub-grade and CTB.

In CA concrete freeways (in the past and probably now) there is a crack (installed using a plastic strip) between the middle of the lanes and expansion joints are cut, with a saw) at an angle and not spaced evenly. The expansion joints are really "crack" joints. It is desired for cracks to form at the crack joints and not randomly. This also applies to the center built-in crack location.

Concrete cures over a very long period of time - e.g. decades. This is why a concrete freeway can start out smooth and later become bumpy. On Hwy 17/880 here in CA the sections started to warp up at the ends as mentioned above. It is easy to fix - just grind flat.

IMO - if you don't like the quality of your freeways then all of the blame can be put on the required state specifications and inspection. On all major freeway jobs I've been involved with state inspectors are on the job everyday checking that the construction meets the specifications on the plans.
See my second pic? What's reason for the ridges perpendicular to the car
Old 01-16-2019, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
I remember riding in one of those back in the mid 70s when I was young. The interior was huge and the velour seats. I was thinking, this is cool and fancy. I will look cool all right

Thankfully, I don't have to drive that big old truck often. Once a month to keep things running. loaded up isn't hat bad. That's my Alaska road trip truck. My poor wife will be in it for more then a month She's gonna to be pissed
Another reason to loose the truck and go with that sweet Caddy.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:46 PM
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She tells me that she has been on enough road trips with me to last three more marriages

We started it back in college. Poor girl
Old 01-16-2019, 03:01 PM
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She must be a saint.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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A lot of the expansion joints are because they didn't have the technology to lay long, continuous stretches of concrete at the time.
Oldest freeway I know of is the Pasadena freeway out of down town LA. My dad said he used to drive on it when he was out here in '48 in a Model A Ford.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Douglas View Post
A lot of the expansion joints are because they didn't have the technology to lay long, continuous stretches of concrete at the time.
Oldest freeway I know of is the Pasadena freeway out of down town LA. My dad said he used to drive on it when he was out here in '48 in a Model A Ford.
Scott, I drive that damn thing daily. I am about a mile and a half from the fwy up in those hills, Mt Washington. that's a fine raceway, I mean fwy. There are no bad spots on it, no ridges only a very small section about 1/4 to 1/2 mile long and it isn't nearly as bad as new sections elsewhere. Both left lane is blacktop, so its super smooth.

There are date stamps along the fwy if you look closely. It was known as the Arroyo Parkway. They even changed the name on some of the signs confusing some people.

Remember our fwys had names not just numbers and everyone used them? When I was a little boy, older folks would say, take the Harbor fwy to San Pedro or the Hollywood Fwy, Pasadena, Santa Ana and the San Diego fwy. We were at someplace about 3 months ago and I saw an old bumper sticker that said "The Santa Ana Fwy sucks" Bet that was printed before they widened it. I still say those names to my wife and she would correct me with the numbers and tells me no one will understand me.
Old 01-16-2019, 06:33 PM
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We used to go to my aunt and uncle's place when they lived in Eagle Rock. We drove on the Pasadena fwy, before they paved it with asphalt. It had some great expansion joints as the concrete seemed like it was poured in 20-30 foot long sections. The on ramps really allow you to test the 0-60 time of your car as they are shorter than short. You can really tell it was designed with Model A's in mind.
Before the 405 was built, we'd go to my aunt and uncle's down in Torrance via Sepulveda Blvd. Hawthorne Blvd had strawberry fields on either side of it thru Torrance.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:03 AM
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See my second pic? What's reason for the ridges perpendicular to the car
Those are lines (across the road at 90 degrees from the auto travel?) installed probably with a saw (cut part way down maybe 1 or 2 inches) when the concrete is green, maybe 3 or 4 hours after pouring. The idea is not to form ridges but ridges can form after the crack develops and the then separate slabs warp or offset. Those are what many here are referring to as expansion joints.

Your pictures looks like an old highway when they cut the slots at 90 degrees.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:16 PM
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I remember watching them widen and expand the short stretch of road from 526 to the port in Mount Pleasant.

The concrete had to be at least 16” deep and had massive amounts of rebar in it. Probably #8.

When I built my first house, it was on a hill. We poured the driveway with wood expansion joints. The concrete slumped just a little at every expansion joint and drove me nuts driving on them. Bump! Bump! Bump!
Old 01-17-2019, 07:19 PM
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Here is a link of many found on the subject....

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/t504030.cfm
Nov 30, 1990 - TRANSVERSE CONTRACTION JOINTS. The primary purpose of transverse contraction joints is to control the cracking that results from the tensile and bending stresses in concrete slabs caused by the cement hydration process, traffic loadings, and the environment.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
See the photos I posted. In the first photo, see those damn ridges behind the little silver car? Those damn thing is what I am talking about. It even more prominent in the second pic. Its all over the entire fwy. All those sections are new. This isn't settling over 5-10 year beating to hell by big trucks, its new?
From my post above (#16)

They are there on purpose. The idea is that with the grooves it takes longer for the concrete to "polish" to the point where it becomes to slick in the rain. They aren't trying to drain the water, just to provide longer lasting texture on the surface.


FYI - they don't care about the ride for our sportscars or stiff trucks.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:08 AM
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Okay - I think I see what you are taking about. There are groves running in the direction of travel that are about 1-2 inches apart. In the case of that road there could be two goals: improve wet traction and/or reduce noise. We have similar groves in Hwy 85 here. In our case the original idea was to reduce noise by grinding the surface to a pre-determined smoothness, I think the groves were added to improve wet traction (because of the smooth surface) and also improve noise generation or at least not increase the noise generation. Hwy 85 is a good place to test if your tires are out of balance, the road is as smooth as I've experienced.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:34 AM
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So here is the theory -

Traction on concrete is mostly controlled by "micro-scale" roughness. The problem is that at this micro-scale the concrete pretty rapidly gets polished by the action of tires, then acts like a terazzo floor.

By cutting those grooves the wear of the concrete is continually exposing rough concrete going down the sides of each groove.

The large grooves aren't only annoying with sportscars, motorcycles and some tread designs - they reduce the traction surface under your tire contact patch. The highway engineers have decided that the longer maintenance interval is worth it.

They used to use a rough "broom" finish or similar - but that ends up polished more quickly. When the travel lane is so smooth the Joe Public is hitting the guardrail in every rainstorm, the highway department needs to do work.

So the grooved surface wears a bit faster in terms of inches per year, but it maintains traction longer.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:50 AM
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