Airport Road curve to get high friction surface as safety measure

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Just when you think it’s all dry and safe to pave — it rains. 

The Florida Department of Transportation was scheduled to begin the process of resurfacing the curved section of Airport Road in Destin on Wednesday, but then rain came. 

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The project has been delayed a couple of times because of weather and staffing, according to Catherine Card, public information manager for the city of Destin

“They are going to attempt to place the high-friction surface on Friday,” said Tanya Branton, public information specialist with FDOT. 

The speed detection sign on Airport Road went up earlier this week in Destin.

Best case scenario, workers will be able to complete all the paving work in one day, Branton said. 

Lane closures were expected to take place Friday on Airport Road between Quail Circle and Mattie Kelly Boulevard. 

The high-friction surface is a “skid barrier,” Branton said. 

“It’s just an additional safety measure they are putting on the road,” she added. 

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High-friction surface treatment is added to the top of a road surface and uses materials to create more friction on pavement. These materials are less likely to wear down than normal pavement, Branton said.

Airport Road has been an "ongoing trouble spot" for years, according to Michele Nicholson, public information officer for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

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In 2019, the Sheriff's Office responded to 46 crashes on Airport Road, Nicholson said.

Drivers traveling Airport Road this week have probably noticed that cautionary speed limit signs have been replaced with a speed detecting sign, Card said. 

The speed limit on Airport Road is 35 mph until you get to the curve near the Destin Executive Airport where the speed limit is reduced to 25 mph. 

After the high-friction surface treatment is placed on the Airport Road curve, a 14-day cure period will be required before the final pavement markings are put down, according to Card.