Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 4SQ, UK +44 (0)1525 382 135

As specialist surfacing contractors for the past two decades, we’ve seen and utilised various techniques for improving highway and airfield safety. Here are six approaches that work in both improving safety and preserving the life of roads and runways:


  1. Anti-Skid Grooving


With wet weather comes the added risk of aquaplaning or hydroplaning. This is due to a layer of water that sits on the road or runway’s surface. If the wheels of an aircraft or car drive on that layer and the tyres can’t disperse the water quick enough, they lose traction and the driver or pilot has less control over the vehicle.


To reduce this risk, especially on runways, grooving machines are employed to cut lines into the pavement to improve drainage. Because these grooves help to dissipate the water from the surface, the friction, grip and ground handling are improved. Watch the video to see runway grooving in action


  1. Diamond Grinding


Longitudinal diamond grinding (LDG) works in a similar way to grooving in that improves the friction of surface on highways and airfields. The way it differs to traditional transverse grooving is that instead of etching grooves into the surface, it removes a thin layer of the concrete to reveal fresh aggregate underneath.


This fresh aggregate has much better skid resistance, which improves braking distances at low and high speeds. In addition to its safety benefits, it’s also an environmental and cost-effective solution for preserving the life of concrete. Learn more: Longitudinal Diamond Grinding


  1. Hydroblasting


Ultra-high-pressure (UHP) hydroblasting is typically used for line and rubber removal, which is essential for maintaining safety on roads, runways and racetracks.  It works by pumping powerful water jets onto the surface to remove the top layer of debris.


The Trackjet system we use is powerful and fast but doesn’t damage the surface can even be used on antiskid coatings without effecting the efficacy of it. Instead, it cleans the surface removing dirt and rubber skid marks caused by tyres, which in turn improves the friction and safety of the concrete or asphalt.


The Trackjet XL system comes with added benefits, too. By harnessing the power of the water jets (without using much water at all), the machine retextures the surface to further improve skid resistance in wet weather.  Learn more about surface retexturing


  1. Rhinophalt Preservation


An asphalt surface can begin to fail for many reasons including water ingress, oxidation, embrittlement and traffic wear. When this happens, the pavement breaks down, cracks form and potholes appear. This can very quickly lead to issues with safety for cars and aircraft.


To remedy the situation fast, Rhinophalt (a cold-spray penetrative preservative) is applied to the surface, specifically the bituminous binder. This is essential to the overall strength, durability and flexibility of the pavement.


By penetrating the existing surfacing course, it seals in essential oils and resins, which enhances the binding and waterproofing properties of the existing surface. Not only does it extend the residual life of the pavement by up to 50%, it also provides an instant increase in friction and reduces FOD risk to aircraft.


Just like the techniques mentioned above, it is a cost-effective solution with a low environmental impact, too. Learn more about Rhinophalt


  1. Resin Coatings


Another way to improve skid resistance on damaged concrete, particularly on runways, is to use a resin surface coating.


Using a mix of resin and aggregate, the solution seals small cracks and spalled surfaces caused by frost, chemicals or latent defects. This can extend pavement quality concrete for up to 20 years and also improves the friction of the surface for improved safety. Read more about surface coatings


  1. Maintain Markings


Whilst all of the above points have focused on surface safety, skidding and friction, it is important that paint makings aren’t overlooked.


Clear and visible road markings and airfield markings are essential for drivers and pilots to navigate their journey safely. Any momentary confusion caused by unclear direction from worn or faded words, symbols, arrows, zones, lanes, pedestrian crossings or speed indicators can result in catastrophic accidents. It is therefore essential that markings are refreshed with visible paint for added safety.  Read more about pavement markings



Roadgrip are experts in maintaining the safety of roads, runways, racetracks, car parks and more. For further information, please contact us.