Corrugation and Shoving

A form of plastic movement typified by ripples (corrugation) or an abrupt wave (shoving) across the pavement surface. The distortion is perpendicular to the traffic direction. Usually occurs at points where traffic starts and stops (corrugation) or areas where HMA abuts a rigid object (shoving).

Corrugation on the uphill side of a street.  Corrugations were probably caused by vehicles starting on the uphill grade.

Shoving at a busy intersection.  Conditions are bad enough here that the shoving occurs not only near rigid objects but across the pavement in general.



Possible Causes

Usually caused by traffic action (starting and stopping) combined with:

  • An unstable (i.e. low stiffness) HMA layer (caused by mix contamination, poor mix design, poor HMA manufacturing, or lack of aeration of liquid asphalt emulsions)
  • Pavement layers not bonded to each other
  • Excessive moisture in the subgrade


A heavily corrugated or shoved pavement should be investigated to determine the root cause of failure.  Repair strategies generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Small, localized areas of corrugation or shoving.  Remove the distorted pavement and patch.
  • Large corrugated or shoved areas indicative of general HMA failure.  Remove the damaged pavement and overlay.