DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Washington, DC 20314-1000
24 February 1999
Engineering and Design
PRIME COATS FOR ASPHALT PAVEMENTS
1. Purpose. This Engineer Technical Letter (ETL) provides guidance and clarification on the
need for asphalt pavement prime coats.
2. Applicability. This letter is applicable to all HQUSACE elements and USACE commands
having military construction and design responsibility. The criteria in this ETL supersede all
criteria in all existing manuals and guide specifications insofar as need for the use of prime coat.
a. ER 1110-345-100, "Design Policy for Military Construction."
b. TM 5-822-8/AFM 88-6, Chap. 9, July 1987, "Bituminous Pavements Standard Practice."
c. TM 5-825-2/AFM 88-6, Chap. 2/DM 21.3, Aug 1978, "Flexible Pavement Design For
d. CEGS 02748, "Bituminous Tack and Prime Coats."
4. Distribution. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
5. Background. Existing construction and engineering criteria concerning whether or not to use
a prime coat has been ambiguous and conflicting. This ETL provides guidance and clarification
on the use of prime coats.
a. Pending publication of revised technical manuals and guide specifications, the following
paragraphs are to be incorporated into CEGS 02748 Bituminous Tack and Prime Coats and used
as guidance for design.
(1) Prime coats are required if it will be at least seven days before a surface layer is
constructed on the underlying compacted material. The type of liquid asphalt and application rate
will depend on the grading of the underlying material, and shall be as specified in this specification
section. This will be paid for as described in the Bid Schedule.