MnDOT taps ‘Buried Treasure’ Beneath Busy Urban Expressway

Pavement Preservation Journal, Fall 2015

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is recognized world-wide as a leader in innovation when it comes to constructing and rehabilitating concrete pavement.

To confirm this point, one must look no further than Minneapolis, where a busy stretch of I-394 in the metro area was being rehabilitated in summer 2015. The project will use two concrete pavement strategies that are gaining momentum nationally: the buried treasure preservation concept and the Next Generation Concrete Surface (NGCS).

For the area of I-394 currently under construction, the decision to use the concrete pavement preservation (CPP) strategy referred to as the buried treasure method was driven  by the road’s history, dating back to its original construction.

I-394 was constructed in 1988 with a transversely tined concrete surface, which was the standard at that time. Transverse tining, a practice that has been discontinued in most of the United States since then, exacerbated tire/pavement noise. Soon after completion of the original I-394 surface, complaints of noise from nearby residents began.

In 1996, the first of two asphalt overlays was completed to address the noise issue. At that time, the condition of the original concrete was still like new, according to Matt Zeller, executive director of the Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota.

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