Forensic Investigation of Brick Paver Crosswalks at Court Square in Charlottesville, Virginia

Report No: 07-R18

Published in 2007

About the report:

This report documents the findings of a forensic investigation to determine the causes of premature failures noted in brick paver crosswalks in the Court Square area in Charlottesville, Virginia. Brick paver crosswalks were installed in late November to early December 2004 and began to show signs of permanent deformation within approximately 18 months after installation. This study sought to examine the cause(s) of this deterioration through a forensic investigation, to provide recommendations for corrective action, and to present suitable designs for long-term performance. The findings are expected to lead to significant cost savings for the City of Charlottesville by eliminating future premature failures and providing alternative designs suitable for moderate- to low-volume urban settings and criteria for evaluating future designs. The findings suggest that minor changes to specifications and construction procedures could greatly increase the service life of brick crosswalk structures used in urban conditions. If an approximate construction cost is $25 per square foot, the construction of four crosswalks within each intersection (assuming two 10-foot travel lanes, two 8-foot parking lanes, and a length of 8 feet) costs nearly $30,000. Following the design recommendations provided herein should yield a service life of 15 to 20 years. If the same costs are incurred in constructing crosswalks with the current service life (approximately 3 years), the recommended design and specification changes could result in a savings of $120,000 to $170,000 per intersection by reducing the need to reconstruct on a frequent basis. This cost difference does not include the costs associated with delays to the traveling public or inconvenience to nearby businesses, which would increase the cost savings significantly.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Last updated: November 25, 2023

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