Through the implementation of high friction surface treatments (HFST), the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has significantly reduced the number of crashes caused by winter road conditions. In fact, after analyzing crash data, the agency observed a 78 percent reduction in crashes and an estimated $18 million in savings.
SDDOT used State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) funds to collaborate with the Utah and Wyoming transportation departments to conduct innovation exchanges. The discussions resulted in the adoption of several innovations including 3D design software, e-Construction and much more.
High friction surface treatments have significantly reduced the number of crashes in South Dakota
South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has been very successful in its use of high friction surface treatments (HFST) on hazardous road conditions. In 2017, the agency installed HFST at 15 locations with a high rate of winter-road-condition crashes.
High friction surface treatments (HFST) refer to pavement enhancements that effectively address friction-related concerns. HFSTs consist of applying a polymer binder combined with high-quality aggregate to a pavement surface to restore or maintain friction. This proactive solution results in a significant and immediate reduction in accidents, injuries and fatalities among road users.
After conducting an analysis of crash data from two consecutive winter seasons, SDDOT observed a remarkable 78% reduction in the number of crashes. The agency estimated that its use of HFST will continue to save the state an estimated $18 million in societal crash costs.
In response to the success of this project and others, the agency added HFST treatment projects to its State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). A STIP is a comprehensive plan that outlines multi-year transportation projects and programs. Moreover, this document guides the development and implementation of projects across multiple modes of transportation. STIPs are developed in collaboration with public transit providers, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation planning organizations (RTPO).
SDDOT used STIC funds to collaborate and implement new innovations
SDDOT used State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) funds to collaborate with the Utah and Wyoming transportation departments to conduct face-to-face innovation discussions. STIC incentive program funds can be utilized by transportation agencies for various purposes including developing guidance standards, implementing process changes and more.
The agency collaborated with these two states because of their shared transportation challenges and innovations of interest. SDDOT proposed 12 topics of discussion, and all three shared discussion guides and presentations.
After these exchanges, the agency adopted several innovations including 3D design software and a diverging diamond interchange in Rapid City, SD. Additionally, SDDOT established an e-Construction process with a web portal for construction data, online payroll submission and quicker change order processing. This allowed the agency to improve their communications and workflows.
SOURCES: FHWA, SDDOT