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Jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP, Figure 1) uses contraction joints to control cracking and

does not use any reinforcing steel. Transverse joint spacing is selected such that temperature and
moisture stresses do not produce intermediate cracking between joints. This typically results in a
spacing no longer than about 6.1 m (20 ft.). Dowel bars are typically used at transverse joints to
assist in load transfer. Tie bars are typically used at longitudinal joints.

Figure 1. Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP)

Crack Control
Contraction joints, both transverse and longitudinal

Joint Spacing
Typically between 3.7 m (12 ft.) and 6.1 m (20 ft.). Due to the nature of concrete, slabs
longer than about 6.1 m (20 ft.) will usually crack in the middle. Depending upon environment
and materials slabs shorter than this may also crack in the middle.

Reinforcing Steel

Load Transfer
Aggregate interlock and dowel bars. For low-volume roads aggregate interlock is often
adequate. However, high-volume roads generally require dowel bars in each transverse joint
to prevent excessive faulting.

Other Info
A majority of U.S. State DOTs build JPCP because of its simplicity and proven performance.