New Surface Treatments Enhance Vehicle Traction; Proven to Reduce Crashes
To enhance safety and reduce crashes, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is placing a new pavement treatment on several interstate ramps. The treatment is proven to enhance vehicle traction particularly on curves. The $1.32 million pilot project is underway and will continue until the end of November.
The High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) increases traction for vehicle tires on pavement surfaces, especially important on wet surfaces. The greater the surface friction, the greater control drivers have of their vehicles. MDOT SHA chose several interchange ramps with significant curves in Anne Arundel and Frederick counties to test the product.
“Targeting specific locations based on safety data, MDOT SHA is deploying this innovation as part of our highway safety tool box to reduce crash rates,” said MDOT SHA Deputy Administrator and Chief Engineer Tim Smith. “Our engineers will evaluate data for a period following application to evaluate effectiveness and determine potential additional locations.”
In Anne Arundel County, MDOT SHA recently completed the surface treatment at the I-695 (Baltimore Beltway)/MD 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) interchange and the I-97/MD 100 interchange.
MDOT SHA is also applying the new high-friction pavement treatment to the westbound US 15/US 340 ramp to southbound US 15 and the MD 75 (Green Valley Road)/ Ed McClain Road intersection in Frederick County. MDOT SHA’s contractor, Blue Cube Operations, LLC. of Blue Ash, Ohio, is permitted to close and detour entire ramps Sunday through Friday mornings between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Pennsylvania, Kentucky and South Carolina transportation departments have used HFST applications, reducing crashes by 100 percent, 90 percent and 57 percent respectively for HFST trial projects. The technology is part of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative to speed up the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by limited budgets