June 13, 2014
Innovation of the Month: High-Friction Surface Treatments
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging transportation agencies and industry to try spot application of high-friction surface treatments to enhance safety at crash-prone locations on roads.
Using these pavement surfacing systems with exceptional skid resistance offers several benefits:
- They reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. After high-friction surface treatments were placed on 26 curves in Kentucky, crashes at those locations dropped from an average of 6.2 to 1.9 a year.
- They provide a durable, long-lasting solution for pavement locations where insufficient friction is a contributing factor in crashes.
- They are cost-effective. While the initial cost of high-friction surface treatments can be higher than conventional pavement, their durability and limited use at critical locations lower their life-cycle cost.
- They can be customized to state and local safety needs. They can be used, for example, at horizontal curves on urban or rural roads, near steep grades and lane change areas, and at rural and urban intersections.
- They can be installed with minimal impact on traffic and the environment. Project lengths are short and equipment and materials can be set up quickly, so the treatments often can be applied in hours.
FHWA partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on a high-friction surface treatment specification. The specification received preliminary AASHTO approval and is available to use as a guide specification.
Deputy Administrator Nadeau Tours Ohio Project
Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau visited the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges project on May 29 to observe progress at the Downtown and East End Crossing construction sites. He met with officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and FHWA's Indiana and Kentucky Divisions, which are collaborating on the project. A design-build contract is being used on the Downtown Crossing part of the project, which is designed to increase cross-river mobility by improving safety and alleviating traffic congestion in the Louisville-Southern Indiana area.
Indiana Training Focuses on Innovative Intersections
Indiana Department of Transportation design, traffic and safety staff learned about the variety of alternative intersection and interchange geometrics to consider for projects at a May 29 training session. The session also covered the new Intersection Design Guide, which the Indiana DOT recently developed with FHWA input. The Indiana DOT and FHWA plan to extend the training to local agency staffs later this year.
Design-Build Team Chosen for New York Bridge Project
A design-build team has been selected to replace the eastbound Kosciuszko Bridge carrying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek in New York City. The $555 million project is the New York State Department of Transportation's largest-ever single contract. The project replaces the 1.1-mile eastbound viaduct with a new span built next to the existing bridge. The portion over water will be a cable-stayed design. The new bridge will improve safety and cut congestion with wider driving lanes, added auxiliary lanes and shoulders and a reduced grade to make it easier for trucks to stay up to speed. Construction will begin later this summer and is expected to finish in early 2018.
Design-Build Contract Awarded for Washington Road Repair
The Washington State Department of Transportation has awarded a $20.57 million design-build contract for the reconstruction of a section of State Route 530 damaged in a March landslide. Because of the flood risk resulting from the slide and the geographic changes to the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, the new road will be elevated 10 to 15 feet above its current profile. Although the new road will be rebuilt under traffic, it will be detoured periodically to an access road. FHWA emergency relief funds will cover the cost of reconstruction. Substantial completion of the new road is expected in October.
FHWA Staff Learn About Innovative Bridge Construction
FHWA and national experts discussed prefabricated bridge elements and systems and slide-in-bridge construction at a May 28 and 29 training session for FHWA Federal Lands Highway staff. The training included a review of and recommendations for six projects, including proposed improvements for the Arlington Memorial Bridge on the George Washington Parkway between Virginia and Washington, D.C., and replacement of the Fort Pulaski Bridge at Fort Pulaski National Military Park in Georgia. Recommendations include the use of ultra-high-performance concrete and the elimination of post-tensioning for some of the projects.