Milford to Receive New High-Friction Road Surface

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By Terry Rogers

After reviewing crash data related to rural roadways around curves, two Milford intersections were selected by DelDOT to receive a new high-friction road surface that is designed to reduce skids. Through a review of fatal roadway departure crash data, DelDOT determined a series of high-risk roadway characteristics where fatal accidents have occurred in the past.

“Using risk factors allowed DelDOT to determine that these wet weather type crashes were primarily occurring on rural collectors and local roadways along curves,” Robert King, Community Relations Officer for DelDOT, said. “Using crash data, we ranked the curves on these types of roadways with the highest rate of wet weather related crashes. We then removed locations that were part of other active projects and those that required extensive pavement rehabilitation. We then chose the locations that we felt the new surface would have the most impact.”

The new surface is called High Friction Surface Treatment. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been working for many years to advance widespread implementation of new technologies in highways. In order to promote the creation of new technologies, FHWA provides grants to different organizations who develop better highway surfaces. In 2009, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program developed a Guide for Pavement Friction, leading to the idea of a high friction surface treatment. Under many different programs, states have been testing ways to increase roadway friction in order to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.

“States like West Virginia and Kentucky have performed tests using the High Friction Surface Treatment,” Mr. King said. “In Delaware, a test was conducted in 2013 on Pyle Center Road in Sussex County.”

The first location in Milford to receive the new surface treatment is Staytonsville Road, approximately three-quarters of a mile from Shawnee Road. The second location is on Griffith Lake Drive, almost one-half mile north of Abbott’s Pond Road. The new surface will place a thin layer of specially engineered durable aggregates as a topping on a binder created from thermosetting polymer resin, similar to epoxy. The surfaces provide skid resistance as well as reducing wear and tear on the overlay of the road.

It was anticipated that the Abbott’s Pond surface project would begin October 3 and 4, but the contractor’s schedule has had to be adjusted since one of the prior projects took additional time to complete. In addition, the rain and storms predicted for the weekend may delay the Griffith’s Lake project until the following week.