In the News: America’s Infrastructure
America’s Infrastructure Could Be Improved With Kafka’s Products
Every four years, America’s infrastructure is graded by the Advisory Council comprised of American Society of Civil Engineers members*. In 2013, the United States of America barely passed, earning an overall grade of D-plus. However, more and more businesses and initiatives have sprung up to try and resolve the deteriorating condition of America’s infrastructure, and Kafka Granite is with them in seeing opportunities to aid in raising our grade.
The categories being routinely graded are public facilities, energy, water and environment, and transportation. By using a simplistic report card scale of A to F, grades are assigned based on eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. Kafka Granite offers products that could help improve the safety of dangerous overpasses, slippery bridges, failing roads and other types of surface transportation, which received an individual grade of D.
Within the ASCE’s 2013 Infrastructure Report card, it was determined that 32% of America’s major roadways are in poor to mediocre condition. As unpleasant as it is to drive on a roadway in poor or hazardous condition, it’s more unpleasant to address the surmounting costs incurred by motorists around the nation. When a road, whether it be a bridge, overpass, or an exit/entrance ramp, suffers from a loss of traction and surfaces become increasingly slippery and dangerous, the safety of motorists is compromised.
Less-than-ideal conditions can range from roadways being poorly planned to being poorly maintained. The financial costs of U.S. motorists traveling on deficient pavement stood at a staggering $67 billion per year in 2013 while also costing many lives. In 2010, 32,885 motorists, nearly one-third of traffic fatalities, were a result of roadway deficiencies.
The importance of a healthy infrastructure affects more than just motorists. The following video summarizes the 2013 ASCE Report Card for America’s infrastructure and its value.
Kafka Granite Has High-Friction Solution to a Slippery Problem
Kafka Granite sees a way to construct safer surfaces and even improve the condition of diminishing and dangerous roadways: high-friction surfacing. High-friction, or non-skid, surfacing epoxy overlays can improve the safety of preexisting roadways as well as be used during new roadway construction to create a safe, high-traction, high-friction surface from day one. A slippery surface renders roads more dangerous, especially when these roads are heavily used. A high-friction epoxy overlay on a new or deteriorated roadway vastly increases traction between the road and vehicle, which could prove critical for accident-bound stretches of road such as bridges, overpasses and exit/entrance ramps.
Recognizing that 47% of urban interstate VMT (vehicle miles traveled) are traveled over deficient pavement, Kafka sees potential for improved safety, cost savings and a higher ASCE grade for infrastructure on the next report card. High-friction epoxy overlays dramatically increase traction year-round and help motorists stay safe whether trekking across roads coated with rain, ice, or snow.
High-friction surfacing aggregates are extremely hard and can endure rigorous environmental conditions, including harsh freezing and thawing cycles. These aggregates can be manufactured to meet Department of Transportation specifications and generally add 3/8” thickness to pre-existing roadways.
Kafka Granite’s unique and vast aggregate color selection also makes it possible to enhance a roadway’s safety even more by being able to distinguish bike paths, street shoulders or crosswalks with colors that contrast against the street itself.
It’s predicted that the financial needs to improve America’s surface transportation infrastructure won’t be met by 2020. With businesses like Kafka working to provide potentially more cost-effective solutions, roads across the nation can adopt solutions like these and become safer for motorists nationwide.