MoDOT to test high friction road surface

Innovation designed to make roads safer

The Missouri Department of Transportation will test a new pavement treatment designed to make state highways safer.

Dave Ahlvers, state construction and materials engineer, said the department has received a $150,000 federal grant to test a new pavement application on curves and intersections that provides more traction for vehicles.

The first test of the High Friction Surface Treatment will be on U.S. 54 in Jefferson City at a sharp curve near the Madison Street exit. For several years, the unexpected sharp curve has caused numerous tractor-trailer units to overturn, scattering cargo — and sometimes livestock — across the roadway.

Another treatment is planned on a hilly curve along Missouri 179 just past the Route C intersection in Jefferson City.

Depending on results — and how much the grant money will buy — Ahlvers said the department may later treat two sites along Interstate 44 near Rolla.

“The high Friction Surface Treatment gives vehicles a grip on the road,” Ahlvers said, “when travel conditions are not ideal, such as when it rains or snows.”

Before the treatment can be done, the project first must be designed and bid out to a qualified contractor.

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