County testing new road surfacing product

A crew from Balley Asphalt paves a section of Afton Elklick Road in Williamsburg Township.

A crew from Balley Asphalt paves a section of Afton Elklick Road in Williamsburg Township.
By Art Hunter

The Clermont County Engineer’s Office recently paved a section of Afton Elklick Road in Williamsburg Township with a new product that is designed to make winter driving safer.

The product, called Winterpave, will reportedly prevent the formation of ice crystals from forming on the roadway down to a temperature of 17 degrees. Winterpave is added to regular asphalt when it is manufactured, and crews can then pave with it as usual.

Alex Cunningham, project manager with the county engineer’s office, said that the county’s biggest winter driving problem is not snow, but ice. He said that the engineer’s office is considering using Winterpave in places where there are known problems with ice, such as on curves and bridge decks.

“Oftentimes we go out with salt trucks that don’t even have plows on them,” Cunningham said. “It’s not the huge snowfalls we’re worried about as much as the freezing rain and wintery mix.”

The quarter mile of Road was selected to test the product because it is a dead end road, and the section of road can safely be left unsalted. The limited amount of traffic on the test area will also mean that little salt will be tracked onto it from other roads.

Cunningham said that while the Winterpave product has been used in Europe for seven years, Clermont County is only the third place the product has been tested in the United States. Winterpave is being distributed in the US by Cargill Deicing Technology.

“We’re going to evaluate how it performs, as far as deicing, and we’re also going to see what it does as far as its lifecycle,” Cunningham said. “Over the course of several winters, our drivers will monitor it, I will come out and evaluate it, and representative from Cargill will also be monitoring it.”