Bituminous Overlay Policy: A Performance Evaluation
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Bituminous Overlay Policy: A Performance Evaluation

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    To address an increasing backlog of roadways in need of rehabilitation, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began use of a standard overlay thickness policy in the early 1980s. On the non-interstate, or primary, system, first resurfacings or overlays over pavements being widened and resurfaced were allowed 2.5 in. (6.35 cm). Subsequent resurfacings were limited to 2 in. (5.08 cm). A provision in the policy allowed for exceptions. This report presents the results of an evaluation of the performance of bituminous overlays constructed on the primary system in accordance with IDOT's overlay policy. Twelve projects were selected for monitoring. The results of visual surveys, deflection testing, and Condition Rating Survey (CRS) histories were analyzed. The standard overlay thickness policy met the FHWA-required minimum 5-year performance period for Federal-aid rehabilitation projects on the primary system. Subsequent overlays were found to have shorter life spans than first overlays. Records of requests for exceptions to the standard overlay thickness policy were also reviewed. Information gathered from the records review was incorporated into the policy and used to create a more efficient process for reviewing requests for exceptions.
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