In recent history the Minnesota Department of Transportation has looked to improve the safety of bridge decks by installing high friction overlays (HFO). A comprehensive study researched four different proprietary HFO systems placed on fourteen bridge decks throughout Minnesota. Research was split into three separate tasks: (1) laboratory testing of aggregate properties, (2) field observations and testing, and (3) a comprehensive analysis of crash data investigated crash rates on bridges with HFO systems. Field observations and testing revealed that the use of snowplows quickly abrades HFO systems. Abrasion, among other factors, causes a reduction in surface friction values, and reduces the life of HFO systems. Furthermore, improving crash rate trends cannot be directly correlated to the installation of HFO systems. Research concludes that HFO systems should not be used in Minnesota. Other cold climate transportation agencies should conduct research emulated after this study to assess HFO systems in their jurisdiction.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. May 2015. Major: Civil Engineering. Advisor: Eshan Dave. 1 computer file (PDF); xiv, 187 pages.
A Comprehensive Evaluation of High Friction Overlay Systems on Bridge Decks in Cold Climate Regions.
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