High Friction Surface Treatment
High Friction Surface Treatments (HFST) are proven to reduce the potential for crashes that occur due to vehicles sliding on wet pavement. These pavement treatments can immediately reduce crashes, resulting in fewer serious injuries and fatalities at locations where motorists brake frequently or where wet road surfaces reduce pavement friction, resulting in potential crashes.
HFST is different from other types of pavement surface treatments such as chip sealing, microsurfacing, milling, and grooving. HFST is a thin pavement overlay that utilizes an epoxy resin binder and high-quality aggregate. The binder material is applied to a section of pavement and the aggregate is spread over the binder material. The aggregate is polish- and abrasion-resistant, resulting in a higher pavement friction and longer-lasting overall friction. Polishing of aggregates typically occurs when there is a lot of friction demand on a section of roadway, such as curves or on the approaches to signalized intersections.
DelDOT began installing HFST with a test location in Sussex County in 2013 and the first open-end project which installed HFST at 19 locations in 2016. In 2017, DelDOT won a National Roadway Safety Award for the HFST program due to the observed crash reduction and safety benefits. To date, HFST has been installed at 31 locations in the state with 11 locations planned for installation in 2021. Before/after crash studies show a 55% reduction in wet weather crashes at the locations where HFST has been installed and a 56% reduction in roadway departure crashes at these locations.