PIERRE, SD – The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) was honored recently in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. with a National Roadway Safety Award for the success of its High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) program to address road departure crashes in winter weather.
HFST involves the application of very high-quality aggregate to the pavement using a polymer binder to restore and/or maintain pavement friction at existing or potentially high crash areas. The higher pavement friction helps motorists maintain better control in both dry and wet driving conditions.
South Dakota’s HFST program involved installations in 15 locations in the Blacks Hills region of the state, which together averaged 21 winter weather-related crashes each year. In the two winters following the installations, there was a total crash reduction of 78 percent.
The concept of applying skid resistant surface treatments was first evaluated in the United Kingdom in 1967 for the greater London Council. The technology arrived in the United States a few decades later, but was used mainly for sealing bridge decks. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that various HFST suppliers began to market the treatment as a safety countermeasure to State and local agency transportation departments.
The National Roadway Safety Awards are a biennial awards program sponsored jointly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF). The awards recognize roadway safety achievements that move the United States toward zero deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.
“The Department of Transportation continues to successfully apply the latest research and technology to implement effective, cost-efficient, and life-saving fixes to our state’s infrastructure,” says Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist. “I congratulate our team on finding innovative solutions to improve safety and mobility on our state highways.”
The National Roadway Safety Award projects were evaluated on three criteria: Effectiveness, Innovation, and Efficient Use of Resources. The program honors outstanding projects involving infrastructure, operational or program-related innovations. The seven winners were selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.
For complete details on each of the winners, and for more information on the national awards program, visit www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadwaysafetyawards/.