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IDOT S-Curve Repaving Report
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 10:44 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -Less than 2 short years ago, the going was tough on the S-Curve.
"I thought it was always banked funny...I just feel you needed to slow down," says Sunny Story, an I 380 commuter.
Cathy Cutler with the Iowa Department of Transportation says time - and a little bit bauxite used in the re-paving of the curve - have made a big difference.
"It creates a high friction number, and it really has lasted well for us," Cutler says.
Cutler says the numbers show the S-Curve is not as hectic as it used to be. Ever since the road was repaved in summer 2012, the average number of crashes are down by 4, and the injuries per year went from 6 to 1.
In addition, the average amount of property damage plummeted from $196,000 to $40,000.
Cutler says the material is holding up after a year and a half, and seems to be surviving the elements during this crazy winter.
"Even if there's water on the road or a little ice it's still very effective."
There are some things to watch out for in 2014. Cutler says there was an uptick in accidents last year while the S curve was in a work zone.
"We really are interested in this year - particularly if we go back down to the [late summer] 2012 numbers," Cutler says
S-Curve commuters like Story say they've felt the difference.
"A better sense of traction, a better sense of staying on the road," she says.
While some say the technology below their tires has helped, some also credit the technology above for helping with a safer commute.
"With the cameras, people don't seem to be going too fast," says commuter Lacey Orcutt. "It's slowed down people a lot more going around it."
Cutler says the technology won't be used on the entire stretch of I 380 anytime soon. The S-Curve project cost $500,000, with $50,000 coming from the Federal Highway Administration.
I-DOT is also not sure what affect the material will have on tires over long distances, so for now, it's just being used as spot treatment.