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The Texas Transportation Institute's Dan Zollinger (left) and Scott Eilken, owner of Quality Saw & Seal of Bridgeview, Ill., oversee a test designed to gauge how sealing joints affects the performance of concrete roads. Photo: Seal/No Seal Group

A one-year study involving contractors and manufacturers as well as state and local road agencies is trying to determine just how cost-effective joint sealing is.

The Seal/No Seal Group is a group of concrete-industry suppliers that's working with agencies to identify the impact of sealants on the long-term cost and performance of concrete pavement. To that end, the group contracted Texas Transportation Institute researcher Dan Zollinger to join the effort.

The study will measure water infiltration rates under various sealing conditions, material types, and joint configurations; and establish a working definition of “sealed” pavement that can be used to decide if and when to re-seal. Researchers will develop test sections, work with state and local transportation partners to evaluate existing sites, and present their findings on www.sealnoseal.org. Results also will be shared with the Transportation Research Board.