In the past, TxDOT’s roadway maintenance preservation procedures involved applying a standard 2-inch thick overlay. A thin overlay is a new surface placed on the top of an existing surface in order to improve the ride and friction.
In partnership with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, TxDOT conducted extensive research on the design and construction of thin overlays in order to identify the right mix to improve pavement performance, specifically a reduction of rutting and cracking. During the course of this research, TxDOT found that a 1-inch thick overlay provided equitable end-result pavement life while completing maintenance and preservation activities at a reduced cost.
Due to the reduced amount of asphalt mix required, this adjusted strategy will realize $9 million in savings annually. These savings have been reinvested in expediting other roadway maintenance activities.
This is a great example of how TxDOT is revisiting all aspects of the mission and looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness across the department.