Michigan First to Use New Tech to Help Protect Road Crossing from Snowmobile Damage
With the snow finally arrived across much of the region, many are starting to get their snowmobiles ready to hit the trails.
Many of those trails cross over roads, but have you ever thought about what goes into making a road surface that can handle both road traffic and the sleds?
At many crossings county road agencies take steps to protect the roads from snowmobile damage.
Michigan was the first state to adopt what’s called Scandinavian Thermoplastic.
It’s a plastic powder that is heated up to 400 degrees and layered onto the crossings.
The material lasts for three to five years and protects the road surface from scoring caused by snowmobile skis.
And when it wears thin another coat can be applied over top.
According the County Road Association of Michigan, the funding for these types of crossing or concrete ones is a special infrastructure challenge for county road agencies.
Snowmobiling is one of the state’s most important winter sports, but only 2% of the gas tax goes to the DNR to fund snowmobile trails, which includes signage and the crossings.