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Penn DOT: Cost Benefit Analysis of Including Microsurfacing in Pavement Treatment Strategies & Cycle Maintenance


Morian, Dennis A, Quality Engineering Solutions, Inc. PENN DOT


PennDOT performed a literature review, survey of other states, and a cost benefit analysis of multiple thin surface treatments, and finds that the equivalent annual cost of micro surfacing is 44% lower than that of thin overlay and can provide 6-8 years of service life when applied at optimal times. PennDOT also recommends the consideration of expanded use of micro surfacing, from both a geographical and traffic level point of view.


In 2011, PENN DOT conducted research to revisit the topic of timely, cost effective application of thin surface maintenance treatments to extend the life of existing pavements in the state highway system.

The followoing treatments were researched:

  • Thin Overlays
  • Milling & Overlay
  • Micro Surfacing or Paver-laid seal/leveling course
  • Chip Seal
  • Sand Seal
  • Fog Seal
  • Slurry Seal
  • Cape Seal