NCHRP Synthesis 411 Microsurfacing


Doug Gransberg


Micro surfacing can be expected to provide an average service life of 7 years if the underlying road is in good condition.

Micro surfacing provides good friction characteristics for up to nine years of service.

Micro surfacing is a pavement preservation and maintenance tool with very few technical or operational limitations.


To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials—through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program—authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-05, “Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems,” searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics.

This study gathers information on the use of highway microsurfacing treatments by transportation agencies in the United States and Canada. Microsurfacing is a polymer-modified cold-mix surface treatment that can remedy a broad range of problems on today’s highways.  The report identifies and discusses practices reported as effective by transportation agencies in microsurfacing project selection, design, contracting, equipment, construction, and performance measures.