HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12 (August 13, 2020) – Motorists on US routes and state primary routes in the seven counties of Highway District 12 will see SCRIM survey vehicles (Sideways-force Coefficient Route Investigatory Machine) starting today through the rest of this week. These vehicles have “Surveying” beacons and highly visible warning signs to indicate their purpose. They travel at or slightly below the speed limit.
The routes that will be tested include US 23 South, KY 645 South, KY 3 South, KY 40 East, US 119 South, KY 15 West, KY 7 West, KY 160 North, KY 80 East, KY 114 West, US 460 East, KY 3174, and KY 1469.
The overall goal of this survey is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Kentucky roads. SCRIM vehicles collected continuous friction data used to study friction supply, analyze the relationship between friction and crashes (particularly roadway departure and wet road crashes), and inform decisions about the benefit-to-cost comparison of various interventions, from signage to surface treatments.
SCRIM vehicles are either orange or white. They use a special wheel set at an angle to the direction of travel to measure friction continuously across the road, including through curves, grade changes, intersections, on/off ramps, and work zones – places where friction is most critical to safe maneuvering.
A SCRIM truck is also large. To collect over long distances – up to 150 miles per full tank – the largest SCRIM trucks carry a 2,200-gallon water tank. When fully loaded, the vehicles can be upwards of 24 tons. They measure 8’4” wide x 33’ long x 12’5” tall.
A water trail follows the truck. This is nothing harmful to road users or the environment. The SCRIM vehicle applies a thin layer of water to the road surface directly under the friction measurement mechanism. It leaves a dispersed 3-4-inch wide trail in the left wheelpath of the road. Under normal conditions, the water trail should evaporate within 10 minutes of surveying.
Continuous friction testing, conducted from August through November, includes more than 15,000 miles of the Interstate, Parkway, State Primary, and State Secondary network in each highway district.
Motorists are asked to watch for the SCRIM vehicles and slow down for this moving work zone. On a two-lane road, do not try to pass the SCRIM vehicle. On a four-lane road, be alert and pass with caution. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” said Chief District Engineer Mary Westfall-Holbrook. “The work will take only a few days, so the inconvenience should be minor.”