Durable Pavement Marking and Grooving

Project status

In progress

Start date: 01/01/13
End date: 12/31/17


Principal investigators:

About the research

Maintaining effective pavement markings year-round is a challenge in Iowa, where winter maintenance causes so much damage due to the harsh winter exposure from snow plow blades, sand, and salt brine. Given these conditions, and a limited painting season, it is critical that agencies select the proper pavement marking materials for the roadways in their network. For example, where should you use regular paint, which may not last over the winter, as opposed to a more expensive but durable marking product?

This research project includes evaluating opportunities for state and local agencies to use more durable pavement markings to address visibility needs, safety problems, and cost effectiveness in areas that are difficult or dangerous to paint annually.

This project also includes evaluating the impact of grooving characteristics on pavement marking performance in terms of both durability and retroreflectivity, and supports the development of grooving specifications for future pavement marking products.

Pavement markings play a critical role in guiding motorists and delineating roadways for safe travel. The identification and use of more durable pavement markings may be the key to improving visibility, operations, and--most importantly--safety.



  • Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
  • Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Iowa Highway Research Board