A realistic assessment of the effect of curling stress on long-term performance of continuous reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) is required in rational design. The main objective of this research is to quantify the thermal behavior of CRCP and the curling deflection for a bus rapid transit (BRT) lane.

This study includes a field instrumentation effort with newly built CRCP equipped with temperature sensors and finite element (FE) analysis. Based on this study, the results show the following:

1) the actual temperature distribution across the depth of CRCP is a second-order power function, considering the linear distribution for the calculation of curling stress can lead to an error of approximately 10%

2) assuming the linear temperature distribution throughout the depth can be correct in the range of temperature differential of +2°C and –2°C

3) the location of thermal gradient change and the neutral axis of CRCP section in the middle of slab are not the same, which can lead to great interior stress within pavement

4) the maximum temperature gradient of CRCP during the day was determined to be twice that at night and these values were approximately 25 to 50% less than suggested values by others; and

5) in designing minimum-maintenance CRCP, the combination of curling and loading stresses is necessary.