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FHWA: Thin HMA Overlays Preserve Pavements

This document defines thin asphalt overlays as dense graded mixtures placed less than 1 1/2 in. in thickness. Thin asphalt overlays placed for pavement preservation are functional overlays to extend the service life of the pavement and are not intended to add structural capacity. 

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Perpetual Pavements: A Manual of Practice

Pavement engineers have been producing long-lasting asphalt pavements since the 1930s. Research has shown that well-constructed and adequately designed flexible pavements can perform well for extended periods of time (Mahoney, 2001). Many of these pavements in the were the products of full-depth or deep strength asphalt pavement designs, and both design philosophies have been shown to provide adequate strength over extended life cycles (Newcomb et al, 2010).

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Manual for Thin Asphalt Overlays - SJSU

All roads suffer from normal wear and tear on a daily basis. As a result, preservation treatments are regularly required to maintain these roads to meet the public’s travel needs. Thin asphalt overlays are one of many preservation treatments for roads that receive light to medium traffic volumes, and sometimes heavy traffic volumes. 

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