The state can use a variety of pavement types on roadways. While it may not seem like a big deal, the choice of pavement can impact the safety of the roadway.
According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, it has used open-graded friction course pavement on many roads in the state as a method of accident protection.
TDOT used OGFC on all interstates, including I-40, which is a high traffic route that sees a lot of large truck traffic in Dyersburg. The use of OGFC on other roads varies, but TDOT has used it on select state routes as well. The focus was on interstates because of the traffic loads and speeds on those routes.
After using OGFC, TDOT did a study showing a 32% reduction in accidents during wet weather. This benefit does off-set the cost since OGFC costs more than traditional pavement due to the layering installation requirements.
How it works
There is a very good reason why TDOT is willing to spend more money to install OGFC on its roads. Asphalt Magazine explains that OGFC is a good solution to make wet roads safer. This pavement is porous, which allows water to drain better and prevents standing water, which can lead to hydroplaning and makes roads generally slippery.
OGFC also stores water down inside so that while it drains, it is not on the top of the pavement. It also has a different texture to it. It actually improves as it wears over time. This provides better traction, which only adds to the benefits during wet weather events.