Maryland DOT contracts with Skidabrader for the Beltway Curve
MDOT SHA TO APPLY FRICTION SURFACE TREATMENT TO CAPITAL BELTWAY (I-495) AIMED AT REDUCING CRASHES (February 4, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin work next week on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway (I-495) to perform an innovative technique that applies a friction surface treatment to the roadway aimed at reducing tractor trailer crashes. This technique involves propelling steel spheres directly at the pavement surface at a high velocity. The im
pact of the spheres creates a random surface texture that enhances friction and surface drainage. These treatments makes it easier for vehicles to stop and reduces the likelihood of hydroplaning. In a research study, MDOT observed friction and drainage improvements of about 70%. “This project will improve the roadway surface as one strategy to reduce crashes on the Capital Beltway,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “This engineering solution will make the roadway safer, especially when coupled with motorists being cautious and obeying posted speed limits.” Work will begin Monday, February 8, with nightly lane closures on the Outer Loop between MD 191 and MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) beginning at 7 p.m. and ending by 5 a.m. the following morning. The work is expected to be completed by mid-February, weather permitting. Crews will close one lane at 7 p.m., then two lanes at 8 p.m., every day of the week. About 30 lane miles overall will be treated as part of this $460,000 project performed by contractor Skidabrader of San Diego, California. The contractor is one of a few in the United States that performs this technique. MDOT SHA works to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews and our customers. Drivers are reminded to stay alert, focus on driving, and look for reduced speed limits, as well as other driving pattern changes.