Full-Depth Reclamation: Key Benefits for Your Pavements

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Full-depth reclamation (FDR) is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly method of rehabilitating damaged pavements. It involves recycling a roadway's existing asphalt and base materials, asphalt pulverizing, and then adding a stabilizing agent to create a new and durable road base.

FDR has been gaining popularity recently, but is it worth the investment? This article explores the pros of FDR and helps you decide if it is the right choice for your road rehabilitation project as well as where to get pavement recycling services.

What Is Full-Depth Reclamation?

FDR is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly pavement rehabilitation process to restore deteriorated asphalt pavements. The method utilizes existing asphalt and base materials to create a new, structurally sound pavement.

The process is ideal for roads, highways, parking lots, and other asphalt surfaces that have become rough, cracked, worn, or severely deteriorated due to weathering, traffic, and use.
FDR is a two-step process that begins with a milling machine grinding the existing pavement and creating a uniform, reusable base material. This material is mixed with recycled asphalt, cement, and other additives to create a new pavement layer.

Combining the base material and additives provides a strong, durable surface that can withstand heavy traffic. The newly created pavement is then compacted with a roller or paver to create a smooth, safe, and attractive surface.

FDR is a cost-effective solution that can be completed quickly, often in a single day. It is also environmentally friendly, utilizing existing materials and creating less waste. Additionally, FDR can address various pavement issues, including cracks, potholes, rutting, and other surface defects.

Pros of Full-Depth Reclamation


One of the biggest advantages of FDR is its cost-effectiveness. Since the existing pavement and base materials are recycled and reused, the cost of materials is significantly reduced. In addition, the process requires fewer labor hours and equipment than traditional reconstruction, resulting in lower overall costs.

Fast Construction

Another benefit of FDR is its speed of construction. Since the process involves pulverizing and stabilizing the existing materials, the new road base can be constructed quickly and efficiently. This means less disruption to traffic and faster completion times.


FDR is a road restoration method that is friendly to the environment. Recycling and reusing existing resources lessen the quantity of garbage in landfills. The technique significantly lessens the carbon footprint of manufacturing and shipping because it uses fewer materials.

Pavement Performance Improvement

Moreover, FDR can improve pavement performance by creating a stronger, more durable road base. The stabilizing agent used in the process can improve the strength and resilience of the base, reducing the risk of cracking and potholes.

Is Full-Depth Reclamation Worth It?

The decision to use FDR for road rehabilitation depends on various factors, including the condition of the existing pavement, the type of base materials, and the budget for the project. FDR is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option that can provide a strong and durable road base. However, it may not be suitable for all road rehabilitation projects.

If the existing pavement is in poor condition and needs to be completely reconstructed, FDR may not be the best option. Conventional reconstruction may be required to guarantee the security and longevity of the road surface in this situation.

On the other hand, if the existing pavement is in relatively good condition and the base materials are suitable for recycling, FDR can be a cost-effective and efficient road rehabilitation method. It can also be a good option for roads that require minimal aesthetic options.


Full-Depth Reclamation can be a worthwhile investment for road rehabilitation projects under certain circumstances. It's a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option that can provide a strong and durable road base. However, it's important to carefully consider the pros and cons of FDR and evaluate whether it's the right choice for the specific project. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced contractor can also help ensure the project's success.

Terra-Firma Stabilization & Reclamation provides asphalt pulverization, soil improvement & modification, soil stabilization, and full-depth reclamation services. Call us today to get started on the bid for your next project.