Base Stabilization

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General Parameters & Advice

Base Stabilization is the treatment of an aggregate base layer that reduces the required aggregate thickness by incorporating chemical or bituminous stabilizing agents. Base stabilization can be used in new construction or in reconstruction to add structural integrety to poor quality aggregates. Existing unpaved roads and parking lots, without subgrade issues, are ideal candidates for base stabilization as well as new construction projects. 

Existing pavements that have deep subgrade or drainage problems are candidates for base stabilization when additional work is undertaken to correct these deficiencies. Existing bound materials and aggregate base is typically moved to one side, the subgrade reworked or stabilized and the aggregate base placed back on the prepared subgrade for further processing. If desired, the bound materials may be incorporated into the stabilized base as an FDR mix. Base Stabilization is an ideal solution to improve the base characteristics and is more commonly used on unpaved roads and new construction where FDR is typically used to reclaim a pavement in-place.

Site Selection for Specific Distresses

Base stabilization is often used for new construction. When used for reconstruction it can address many of the same distresses as FDR including:

  • All forms of cracking including age, fatigue, edge, slippage, block, longitudinal and reflective 
  • Reduced ride quality due to swells, bumps, sags, patches and depressions 
  • Permanent deformations including rutting, corrugations and shoving 
  • Loss of bond between pavement layers 
  • Moisture damage (stripping) 
  • Loss of surface integrity due to raveling, potholes and bleeding 
  • Base failure and subgrade instability

Road Type, Surface, and Traffic Specifics

Base Stabilization can be used on all road types and traffic including city streets, county roads, state routes, interstate highways, parking lots, industrial storage facilities and airports. It can be used in any application where aggregate base is considered. However, it is important to remember that Base Stabilization requires a wearing surface to protect the stabilized layer from moisture damage. 


There are no climate restrictions for Base Stabilization, it has been used successfully in all climate zones including wet freeze, dry freeze, wet no freeze and dry no freeze. There are weather restrictions during construction that vary depending on the stabilizing agent used. See Weather Requirements for more information.