Penn DOT hosts HFST demonstration
Representatives of PennDot and North Cornwall Township, Lebanon County, PA joined forces with the Federal Highway Administration and the State Transportation Innovation Council on Thursday May 7 to host a regional demonstration day bringing together key stakeholders to view the application of the innovative, safety enhancing High Friction Surfacing Treatment (HFST).
DBi Services was on hand to demonstrate the automated application of HFST on an “s-curve” near Mill Road on Route 241 in Lebanon County, a site with sharp horizontal curves and narrow shoulders which has contributed to about 11 crashes per year since 2008.
Richard Baker, HFST Market Development Manager for DBi Services is responsible for working with every highway department in the US hosting educational and engineering presentations on the use of HFST as cost-effective safety countermeasure. As a recognized global expert on the subject, Baker said of the event, “This is so rewarding to have HFST, a real life-saving process, highlighted by one of the nation’s leading user agency’s.”
“We at PennDOT are very much committed to reducing fatalities and injuries on our highways. We use so many different tools to reduce crashes and fatalities, and high friction surfacing is one of the most successful tools we have. We are so happy that we are getting together today to talk about it and see this installation. It’s a great thing to promote, and we hope that local municipalities as well as other states will be using it at more locations,” said PennDOT Safety Management Division Chief Gary Modi.
Another PennDOT attendee expressed, “I think today was a great day. We appreciate the services of companies like DBi who perfect the technology. The end result is we are reducing accidents and saving lives. We feel it is money well-spent, and we’re going to continue to work with the industry and State DOT to advance more projects and continue meeting our safety goals.”
Over the last five years, Pennsylvania has averaged about 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.
“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. 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,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary Scott Christie. “The fact is that when you use this product, the statistics definitively show that it drives down the number of accidents and that it drives down the number of fatalities. Simply put, one fatality or one accident is one too many, and the fact is that when you use this product, statistics show that it drives down the number of accidents and it drives down the number of fatalities.”
Through 2015, PennDOT has installed HFST to 63 locations around the state in an effort to prevent crashes and save lives. Moving forward, PennDOT has identified 121 additional locations that would benefit from this innovative technique.
“I had the opportunity to attend classes on the High Friction Surfacing 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.”
The State Transportation Innovation Council, a cross-section of various stakeholders, state and federal agencies, local governments and industry partners who work together to forge an environment of innovation, has promoted the use of HFST 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 HFST accomplishes all three.”