Thin lift asphalt overlay

Published on Jun 12, 2022

This technique 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?

It is an asphalt mixture applied over 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 asphalt 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 one last?

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





  • 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
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