High friction surface treatment aims to reduce crashes on roadways

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – KELOLAND News has reported on deadly crashes along stretches of Interstate 229. We’re taking a closer look at the road itself.

Whether you’re on your way to work, running errands, or you’re headed home, sometimes the unexpected happens.

“The most prevalent crash type in South Dakota single vehicle, run off the road crashes, and a lot of times those are high speed, there’s a high potential for injury or fatalities in those situations,” Sioux Falls Area Engineer for SDDOT, Travis Dressen said.

To prevent those kinds of crashes, some roads in and around Sioux Falls have a high friction surface. One of the first areas to receive the treatment was near I-229 and 18th Street.

“It’s been very successful, speaking specifically about the one on I-229, the first year that that was put down was 2014, so we took a look at our crashes in 2015 and we saw a 100% crash reduction in the northbound lanes and an 83% reduction on the southbound lanes so we really took care of a serious crash problem there,” Dressen said.

So what exactly is this treatment? Crews prepare the surface of the roadway for an epoxy resin. They then spread these rocks into the epoxy, which helps create additional friction.

“We just put one on the curve on 229 by Lincoln High school, so that was completed this summer and that was done with that Exit 5 project, and then another stand alone project, we put it in a couple different locations, northbound and southbound I-29, just north of I-90 as we cross the railroad tracks we see a number of crashes there due to winter conditions,” Dressen said.

Dressen says the areas that have been treated have seen fewer crashes in the last five years. They plan to to treat more locations with high crash rates in the future.

“Definitely the numbers show that those crash potentials have been reduced with this being on the road,” Dressen said.

Dressen says they’ve seen a 75-percent fewer crashes on the stretches of road that have been treated.

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