Continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) performance depends on, among other factors, the characteristics of early developing cracks caused by environmental loads. The primary objective is to evaluate effects of design, materials, and construction variables on the characteristics of cracks in CRCP when subjected to environmental loads. A mechanistic model is developed using finite element formulations. Concrete and longitudinal steel are discretized using the plane strain and the frame elements, respectively. Various bond stress and slip models between concrete and longitudinal steel and between concrete and the underlying layers are developed using the spring elements. The creep effect is also included using the effective modulus method. CRCP responses from the model vary depending on the concrete and steel bondslip models. An accurate bond-slip model needs to be investigated further by experiments to increase the accuracy of the mechanistic model. Concrete creep has beneficial effects on CRCP responses. The thermal coefficient of concrete has significant effects on CRCP responses. Using concrete with a low thermal coefficient will improve CRCP performance. Longitudinal steel variables - the amount of steel, bar diameter, and steel location - are important design variables that influence CRCP behavior. For given environmental conditions, an optimum steel design can be developed using the model developed.