Evaluation of the Cargill SafeLane Surface Overlay

Report No: 09-R8

Published in 2009

About the report:

A recent development in polymer concrete overlays is the Cargill SafeLane™ surface overlay (SafeLane overlay). The 3/8-in-thick overlay is constructed with epoxy and broadcast aggregates, as are typical multiple-layer epoxy overlays that are used to provide a skid-resistant wearing surface for bridge decks that protects the decks again intrusion by chloride ions. Reportedly, the SafeLane overlay is unique in that Cargill indicates that the limestone aggregate used in the overlay can absorb and store liquid deicing chemicals that are applied to the surface of the roadway. The purpose of this research was to compare the SafeLane overlay and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) modified EP-5 epoxy concrete overlay (hereinafter called the VDOT modified EP-5 overlay) based on an evaluation of their construction, initial condition, and effectiveness in preventing frost, ice, and snow formation on the surface of the roadway. The comparison was limited to overlays placed on four bridges on I-81 in 2004 and 2005 (two SafeLane and two VDOT modified EP-5 overlays) and on four sections of continuously reinforced concrete pavement on the Virginia Smart Road in 2006. The evaluation with respect to the initial condition of the overlays on I-81 was based on a comparison of the as-constructed properties, including aggregate properties, bond strength, permeability, skid resistance, and chloride content. The evaluation with respect to the initial condition of the overlays on the Smart Road was limited to skid resistance. The evaluation of the overlays with respect to their effectiveness in preventing frost, ice, and snow formation was based on visual observations and skid measurements of overlay surfaces under typical interstate winter conditions at the I-81 sites and under artificial snow and ice conditions at the Smart Road. In addition, the effectiveness of the overlays at the Smart Road in preventing frost, ice, and snow formation was compared with that of a bare-tined concrete surface. The evaluation indicated that the SafeLane overlay can provide a skid-resistant wearing and protective surface for bridge decks. The study was not able to determine the performance of the overlay with respect to providing a surface with less accumulation of ice and snow. Further, there has not been sufficient time to evaluate chloride penetration into the decks overlaid with SafeLane overlays in Virginia.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Gerardo W. Flintsch, Edgar David de Leon Izeppi, David W. Mokarem, Michael M. Sprinkel, P.E., Daniel S. Roosevelt

Last updated: November 23, 2023

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