Thin-Lift Asphalt Overlays


Thin-Lift Asphalt Overlays
Robert Daly
/ Categories: Road Work 2022

Thin-Lift Asphalt Overlays

Thin-lift asphalt overlay is a cost-effective measure used in Sturgeon County's road maintenance program. It can be applied on a variety of roadways, from low-volume subdivision streets to high-volume highways.


What is a thin-lift asphalt overlay?

Thin-Lift asphalt overlay is an asphalt mixture applied overtop of the existing pavement structure at a thickness of 1.5 - 2 inches. The mixture is similar to regular hot-mix asphalt but may use smaller aggregate pieces to improve compaction. It can be applied using conventional processes and equipment.

A thin-lift overlay is best used when the underlying pavement structure is in good shape. Overlays generally aren’t used if the pavement has full-depth cracks or if the base structure has deep ruts or underlying base problems. 


How long will a thin-lift overlay last?

It can extend the life of the pavement by eight to nine years and reduces the need for more costly road maintenance. 


Benefits of thin-lift overlay: 

  • Improve surface smoothness to achieve a better, quieter ride

  • Improve traction

  • Reduce wheel path rutting to improve safety

  • Prevent water damage to the road surface which preserves the pavement structure. 

  • Maintain or create adequate drainage