Pavement Markings -- Wet Retroreflectivity Standards

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  10/30/2017


Requiring initial performance levels for pavement markings is becoming more and more common to help ensure quality pavement markings are being applied to roadways. The performance requirements are often established based on engineering judgment, with potential influence from contractors and pavement marking material manufacturers. In order to establish initial wet retroreflectivity performance levels for MnDOT, the research team intends to conduct a comprehensive literature review of research projects that have looked at various aspects of wet-night pavement marking performance. The research team will also investigate other available data sources such as pavement marking cost information, crash information, and pavement marking durability information. The research team will also conduct a human factors study to get performance information for a variety of markings. The human factor study will use subjects to evaluate the quality of pavement markings in a simulated rain environment. The human factor study coupled with the other data sources and the literature review will be used to establish initial and maintained wet reflective performance levels for MnDOT pavement markings. The performance levels will be based on driver needs, costs, and levels that can reasonably be attained with current pavement marking technologies. The benefit cost ratio of establishing wet retroreflectivity performance levels will be determined to optimize the recommended performance levels. A comprehensive study is recommended because pavement markings that provide wet-night performance typically cost more than standard markings and the service life, or at least the service life from a wet retroreflectivity standpoint, may be shorter than standard markings. The recommended performance levels need to be realistic, considering that they can actually be achieved with current pavement marking technologies, and also cost effective while providing increased visibility in wet-night conditions. In addition to recommendations on required wet retroreflectivity performance levels, recommendations on when and where wet reflective markings should be implemented will be provided.

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