Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Road Research

NRRA Preventive Maintenance Team

Orange barrels on a highway

Pavement Preservation Approaches for Lightly Surfaced Roadways

Project Start Date:
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Project Summary:For very low volume roads where there is a desire to provide an enhanced surface in lieu of a standard aggregate surface on a limited budget one alternative is the application of a Light surface treatment (LST).  A Lightly Surfaced Pavement Treatment, for this report, can include the application of an asphalt surface treatment to an aggregate base as well as applying a liquid asphalt material and covering with aggregate material either having an applied thickness of about 1/2 – inch or less.  These treatments are not considered structural and rely on the strength and quality of the underlying base and subbase structures. 

The application of an LST is intending to preserve the underlying aggregate structure by maintaining aggregate and fines in place and shedding rain to reduce moisture effects.  Maintaining the aggregate structure reduces dust as well as loss of aggregate into the roadside ditches as well as reducing surface distresses characterized as wash boarding and rutting. 

LST’s are considered an economical alternative to the conventional HMA or Concrete pavement.  Examples of LST’s include:

  • Fog Seal with a Light Asphalt Emulsion or Bio Treatment Material
  • Single or double chip seal
  • Otta Seal
  • Chloride

The objective of this tech transfer project is to compile and report a synthesis of design methods NRRA Member states use for design, identify best practices, and report successful and unsatisfactory experiences with performance, case studies. 

Project Tasks/Status:
Original Need Statement: Pavement preservation approaches for lightly surfaced roadways - Draft Sept. 3, 2018 (WORD)

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Principal Investigator:  
Technical Liaison: 
Project Technical Advisory Committee (TAP) Email the TAP

Mark Gawedzinski (IL)
Andrew Hanz (MTE Services)
Kevin Kliethermes (FHWA)
Dan Wegman (Braun)
Zhanping You (MTU)
Eshan Dave (UNH)
Jim Wilde (MSU)
Ed Johnson (MN)
Jerry Geib (MN)
Joe Korzilius (SRF)
Renae Kuhl (SRF)

Related Materials

Final Report: