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PennDOT, Partners Host Demonstration of Safety Enhancing Pavement Innovation


Lebanon, PA – Representatives of PennDOT and North Cornwall Township, Lebanon County, joined the Federal Highway Administration and the State Transportation Innovation Council today to host a regional demonstration day bringing together key stakeholders to exhibit the application of an innovative, safety enhancing pavement surface treatment.
High Friction Surface Treatment (HFS) uses high-quality, wear-resistant aggregates or stones to provide increased friction and grip on pavements. This helps to keep a vehicle in its lane on slippery pavement around curves and allows drivers to stop. The materials used to bond the stone to the pavement are designed to set quickly so there is minimal impact to the traveling public.
“PennDOT as a whole is incorporating this technique into our toolbox to address locations known for crashes due to wet pavement or reduced pavement friction,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary Scott Christie. “We’re eager to work with our local government partners to assist them in adapting this innovative technique to enhance roadway safety in their communities.”
At the demonstration day, North Cornwall Township representatives along with industry representatives demonstrated the application of a HFS treatment on the “S-curve” near Mill Road on Route 241 in Lebanon County. According to a safety study using PennDOT and North Cornwall Township data, this location’s sharp horizontal curves and narrow shoulders have contributed to approximately 11 crashes per year since 2008.”
“I had the opportunity to attend classes on the High Friction Surface Treatment process, and realized this application could be a solution to reduce crashes, increase motorist safety, and reduce the burden on the township’s police department, and safety response units,” said North Cornwall Township Public Works Director Thomas J. Long. “I highly recommend any municipality experiencing similar dangerous roadway conditions to consider high friction surface treatment as a solution to reduce accidents on their state and local roads.”
Over the last five years, Pennsylvania has averaged approximately 200 fatalities and 450 major injuries per year due to crashes on wet pavement. PennDOT tracks crash data and has identified high-priority crash locations where the greatest return on investment can be realized in reducing wet-pavement, curve-related crashes.
Through 2015, PennDOT has installed HFS treatment to 63 locations around the state in an effort to prevent crashes and save lives. Moving forward, PennDOT continues to evaluate HFS treatment and has identified 121 additional locations that would benefit from this innovative technique.
HFS treatments are durable, long-lasting pavement surfaces that improve pavement friction in both wet and dry conditions. When applied to locations that have a higher propensity for wet-pavement curve-related crashes, have steep downgrades or approach an intersection, the treatment increases friction and assists in preventing vehicles from skidding, providing safer roadways to the traveling public.
The State Transportation Innovation Council, a cross-section of various stakeholders, state and federal agencies, local governments and industry partners that will work together to forge an environment of innovation, has promoted the use of HFS treatment in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration’s Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative. The initiative is designed to improve the safety of motorists at high-priority crash locations throughout the state.
“When it comes to the business of delivering projects and improving safety, we want to make every day count,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Our goals are simple but ambitious – to find ways to save time, save money and save lives. PennDOT should be applauded because its use of HFS treatment accomplishes all three.”
To learn more about the innovations being incorporated into PennDOT operations and by local governments across the state, visit and select “State Transportation Innovation Council.”