Micro Surfacing in Tennessee

In 2008, Tennessee DOT awarded $12-million worth of contracts for micro surfacing 500 miles of roads. 


Tennessee has claimed to have some of the best roads in the country. With more than 14,000 miles, the state-maintained highway system is consistently ranked among the top five in the nation.


The cost to maintain Tennessee's level of quality on roadways is high due to the rising construction material prices. The Tennessee Department of Transportation had to find a more economical way to protect and preserve valuable road pavements from the increase in population growth and number of miles being traveled. Tennessee DOT were looking for a cost savings way to preserve payment as their original plan to improve specific number of lane miles per year over 12 years was not working. The roads showed signs of surface cracking but sound pavements.


Tennessee's DOT Chief Engineer asked the four agency's Operating Centers to allocate 10% of their 2008 share of earmarked road maintenance funds to the application. Each center reviewed road conditions and inventory data and decided which roads were to receive the treatment. 


  • Micro surfacing is placed at the rate pf about 22 pounds per square yard to produce a surface treatment between 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch thick.