Interest in concrete overlays, as well as the use of these versatile pavement solutions, has grown significantly in the past decade. More recently, the enactment of the ARRA has created an imperative for roadbuilding and rehabilitation solutions that can be used for shovel-ready projects. Concrete overlays fit the bill for many of those projects, but even before the economic stimulus legislation, many agencies were turning to concrete overlays as budgets declined, traffic volumes and loads increased, and the focus on sustainability sharpened.
The bottom line is state, municipal, and county agencies are expected to do more with less, and to that end, concrete overlays provide a viable means of extending the life of distressed concrete, asphalt, or composite pavements.
Concrete overlays also are attracting the attention of agencies that have seen pricing volatility of asphalt, as well as those who recognize the inherent durability, versatility, and environmental benefits of concrete. With those considerations in mind, this article will provide an overview of concrete overlay types, as well as key considerations in selecting an appropriate overlay type.