The Use of Raised Pavement Markings in Work Zone Applications: A Synthesis of Practice

Project Details






Principal Investigator
Aemal Khattak

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

About the research

Delineation of proper driving path to drivers is of significant importance in work zones, especially at nighttime or during inclement weather. With significant highway reconstruction under progress across the US and emphasis on getting the work done quickly, work zones with overnight lane closures are becoming common. Raised pavement markings (RPMs) coated with retro-reflective material offer increased visibility during nighttime and inclement weather, thereby potentially improving work zone safety. The use of RPMs in work zones appears to vary among state transportation agencies in work zones. A review and synthesis of practice for the application of RPMs in work zones was conducted via a survey to provide guidance on the use of RPMs in workzones.

The survey indicated that 40% of the responding DOTs use MUTCD specifications for the use of RPMs in workzones. The remaining 60% of the responding agencies have developed their own, more-specific, guidelines for RPM usage. However, there are differences in the specifications developed by the 60% of responding agencies. These differences are most likely the result of differences in agency needs and cost of RPMs. The research team recommends that transportation agencies that do not have specifications developed for RPM usage in workzones as yet, use the MUTCD specifications for RPM usage as a base-line. This will bring about some level of uniformity in RPM usage in workzones. Manufacturer recommendations, if different than MUTCD, can be compared and the more stringent set of specifications adopted for RPM usage in workzones. The information contained in this report can provide a starting point to those agencies that are interested in developing agency-specific guidelines on RPM usage in workzones.