State to test road friction for potential accident link; starts May 19 in 8 counties


MANCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – Motorists on state primary and secondary routes in the eight counties of Kentucky Highway District 11 may see unique survey vehicles on the roadway Wednesday, May 19 through Wednesday, May 26 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The vehicles, known as SCRIM® trucks (Sideway-force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machines), will collect data to analyze the connection between highway crashes and the degree of pavement friction.

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“Last year, we lost 780 Kentuckians in car crashes – each person was someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, child or friend,” said Chief District Engineer Chris Jones. “SCRIM® trucks provide us with even more data to prioritize road repairs and treatments. That helps us get better at our number one job: keeping Kentuckians safe.”

“The objective is to reduce fatal and serious injury collisions by incorporating friction data into our selection process for resurfacing and other pavement treatments,” Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said. “By enhancing our pavement management practices in this way, the cabinet will be taking a proactive approach to making roadways safer for motorists throughout the commonwealth.”

Routes being tested in District 11 include I-75, Hal Rogers Parkway, U.S. 25, U.S. 25E, U.S. 25W, U.S. 421, U.S. 119, KY 160, KY 80, KY 38, KY 699, KY 74, KY 441, KY 92, KY 1804, KY 190, KY 221, KY 296, KY 2386, KY 11, KY 225, KY 6, KY 3041, KY 3606, KY 727, KY 312, KY 192, KY 1193, KY 26, KY 90, KY 1232, KY 770, KY 363, KY 1006, KY 490, KY 66, KY 229, KY 30, KY 3443, KY 472, KY 118, KY 129, KY 89, and KY 909.

The orange and white SCRIM® vehicles travel at or slightly below the speed limit, and are equipped with flashing beacons and high-visibility warning signs. Each vehicle applies water to the road surface under the friction measurement mechanism and leaves a 3- to 4-inch-wide water trail in the left wheel path of the road. The water is not harmful and evaporates after about 10 minutes.

Motorists are asked to be alert and to slow down for this mobile work zone.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” said Jones. “The work will only take a few days, so the inconvenience should be minor.”