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Methods for Maintaining Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity

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FHWA-SA-14-017
October 2014

Logo: Safety - Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment 8in roadwy safety saves lives Logo: U.S. Department of Transportation

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

1. Report No.

FHWA-SA-14-017

2. Government Accession No.

 

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Methods for Maintaining Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity

5. Report Date

October 2014

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Authors

Paul J. Carlson, Greg Schertz, Cathy Satterfield, Kathy W. Falk, Tim Taylor

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Texas A&M Transportation Institute
The Texas A&M University System College Station, TX 77843-3135

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.

Contract DTFH61-10-D-000024

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Safety
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes:

Research performed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
Project Contracting Officer's Technical Representative: Cathy Satterfield
Federal Highway Administration, Office of Safety

16. Abstract

In response to a Congressional directive, the FHWA is working to establish minimum maintained pavement marking retroreflectivity levels that will be incorporated into the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). One of the concerns expressed by agency personnel responsible for being in conformance with required minimum levels is the potential increase in tort exposure. The FHWA has investigated and described retroreflectivity maintenance methods that, when implemented as intended, provide agencies with a flexible means of being in conformance with required minimum retroreflectivity levels and provide protection from potential tort claims. Other properly supported methods (i.e., through the completion of an engineering study showing a tie to the minimum levels) may also be used to maintain pavement markings at the required minimum retroreflectivity levels. Agencies can use the information in this report to help determine which retroreflectivity maintenance method or combination of methods best suits their needs.

17. Key Words

retroreflectivity, traffic control devices, pavement markings, pavement marking maintenance, minimum retroreflectivity, retroreflectometer

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages:

53

22. Price

Reproduction of completed page authorized

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Background
Pavement Marking Materials and Standards
Report Organization

CHAPTER 2. RETROREFLECTIVITY MAINTENANCE METHODS.

Introduction
Objectives of Retroreflectivity Maintenance Methods
Pavement Marking Visibility and Retroreflectivity
Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Maintenance Methods

Visual Nighttime Inspection Methods
Measured Retroreflectivity Method
Expected Service Life Method
Blanket Replacement Method
Other Methods

Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Inspection Techniques Not Included as Approved Maintenance Methods

Sun Over the Shoulder Technique
Comparison Panel Technique
Lane Line Count Technique
Control Markings Technique
Windshield Marking Technique
Comparison Light Box Technique

CHAPTER 3. CALIBRATED PAVEMENT MARKING PROCEDURE – VISUAL NIGHTTIME INSPECTION METHOD

Introduction
Background
General Procedures

Details

Linking to Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels
Advantages
Concerns

CHAPTER 4. CONSISTENT PARAMETERS PROCEDURE – VISUAL NIGHTTIME INSPECTION METHOD

Introduction
Background
General Procedures

Details

Linking to Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels
Advantages
Concerns

CHAPTER 5. MEASURED RETROREFLECTIVITY METHOD

Introduction
Background
General Procedures

Handheld vs. Mobile Units

Current Practice.
Linking Measurements to Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels
Advantages
Concerns

CHAPTER 6. EXPECTED SERVICE LIFE METHOD

Introduction
Procedures
Current Practice.
Linking Expected Service Life to Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels
Advantages
Concerns

CHAPTER 7. BLANKET REPLACEMENT METHOD

Introduction
Procedures
Current Practice.
Linking Blanket Replacement to Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels
Advantages
Concerns

CHAPTER 8. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

APPENDIX A. MUTCD LANGUAGE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT FOR THE 2009 MUTCD

REFERENCES

 

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Page last modified on February 1, 2017
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000