HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - We know there are some areas that seem to be more prone to accidents during any kind of wet weather. The city and state are making design changes to remedy roads with slick spots.
"Mountain Gap has been there for probably 50 years the way it is today," said Kathy Martin the Director for Huntsville City Engineering. "In today's design standards we probably would have built it differently."
We took action and pulled accident reports for Mountain Gap Road. The documents showed 10 accidents in 2016 - all related to wet roads.
On Capshaw Road, Huntsville's Traffic Engineering Department reports 75% of the wrecks in the last five years were due to wet weather and low traction.
So what can change to make your drive safer?
"You can redesign, you can reconstruct or you can find new technologies," said Martin.
Huntsville is part of a three-year pilot program to try out an open grade friction course asphalt which is a new technology of sorts.
Here's how Martin described the new pavement, "It's got larger aggregate sizes in it and it's got larger voids in it as well. The intent is for the water to permeate through this mix and then sheet drain off the road underneath this top layer."
All of that gives your tires better traction regardless the weather conditions.
The Alabama Department of Transportation started putting this kind of asphalt on our highways and interstates to help lower the chance of hydroplaning.
"We use the open grade in an area where water might be more likely to wind up standing on the road, collecting and pooling," explained ALDOT spokesman Seth Burkett.
The new pavement provides just enough of a safety feature to accident prone areas. But you won't find the black top on every stretch you drive. That's because the mix has half the lifetime of typical asphalt. City officials say it's 30% more expensive.
"Our number one mission is to provide roads, but also to provide safe roads as much as possible," said Burkett.
We'll keep you up to date on places this new asphalt is being put down. City officials say one location they're considering is Cecil Ashburn as part of the big overall improvement project set to start this year.