I-74 being paved with material aimed at preventing hydroplaning

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A highway in Guilford County has been paved over several times during the past year, but North Carolina Department of Transportation officials says it's not a mistake. They're adding a different kind of material to the highway aimed to keep drivers safer, especially in the rain.

One of the busiest stretches of U.S. 311/Interstate 74 in Guilford County is getting new pavement installed. The state hopes it will make driving safer.

"What you see going down today is what we call 'open graded friction course,'" said Patty Eason, an engineer for the NCDOT.

The new material helps get water off the road faster. It also contains tiny stones that help prevent cars from hydroplaning.

"It's not quite as smooth as asphalt," Eason said.

The NCDOT is targeting certain parts of the interstates for OGFCs.

"Our high-volume facilities, high-speed facilities, where we know that people are driving faster in the rain," Eason said.

The section of U.S. 311 between Interstate 40 in Winston-Salem and Green Drive in High Point has seen several crashes caused by speeding or hydroplaning this year.

There are still a couple lanes to be paved on each way of the seven-mile stretch of U.S. 311.

"Remove the old asphalt, put the asphalt back, and then came back and last is the open graded friction course," Eason said.

The material may be different than traditional asphalt, but Eason says it'll just feel like you're driving on a newly paved road.

"It will be just as smooth, the stone is so small that you really won't notice unless you get out and really look at it," she said.

This stretch of U.S. 311 should be finished by the end of this year. Other roads in the Triad are currently getting OGFCs installed now too, including on I-40 in Alamance County between N.C. 62 and N.C. 54, and on I-40 from Gallimore Dairy to Sandy Ridge.