Cold Planing & Micro Milling

Find a Contractor/Supplier

General Parameters & Advice

CP can be used to remove part or all of the existing pavement layers and, in addition, can be used to excavate base and subgrade materials. It can be used as a temporary driving surface provided that the appropriate milling pattern is used and the resulting pavement is stable. CP can be used for a wide variety of applications including:

  • As a means of improving ride quality prior to an asphalt overlay (hot or warm mix) or other surface treatment, as evidenced by the common use of end result specifications that call for percent improvement in or attainment of a smoothness measurement threshold
  • As a method to re-establish desired grades and profiles to existing pavements
  • As a surface preparation or grade preparation for other maintenance/rehabilitation techniques such as Hot In-Place Recycling (HIR), Cold Recycling (CR), Full Depth Reclamation (FDR), or asphalt overlays 

Similar to all construction operations, the pavement should be checked for buried utilities, abandoned rail or streetcar lines, manholes and other castings. If buried obstructions are encountered during the milling operation, damage to the cutting teeth, cutting drum and drive mechanism can result as well as being a safety hazard to the milling operator. The associated down time, inconvenience to the public, repair costs and safety issues can be extensive. 

Site Selection for Specific Distresses

  • Raveling
  • Bleeding 
  • Shoulder drop off 
  • Rutting 
  • Corrugations 
  • Shoving 
  • Removal of deteriorated, stripped or aged asphalt 
  • Poor ride quality caused by swells, bumps, sags and depressions 
  • Diminished curb reveal heights

Road Type, Surface, and Traffic Specifics

CP has been successfully used on all surface types and traffic level roadways. As CP is primarily used in conjunction with other pavement maintenance/rehabilitation techniques, the CP process tends to be governed by the subsequent work such as an asphalt overlay, hot recycling, HIR, CR, FDR or other preventative maintenance/rehabilitation methods.

Traffic interruptions can be kept to a minimum since CP production is relatively high and the roadway can be used by traffic as soon as it has been swept clean of any loose millings provided the remaining pavement  remains stable. CP can be used as a temporary driving surface provided that the appropriate milling pattern is used and the resulting pavement is stable and will not delaminate or ravel. 


There are no climate restrictions for cold planing and micro milling. Cold planing and micro milling have been used successfully in all four climate zones, wet freeze, dry freeze, wet no freeze and dry no freeze. However, there are weather restrictions during construction. See Weather for more information.