Ohio Department of Transportation
Neal Hawkinshawkins@iastate.edu email >
Associate Director, InTrans
Omar Smadismadi@iastate.edu email >
About the research
This study was initiated by ODOT to evaluate the performance of four pavement marking materials (fast dry traffic paint, polyester, extruded thermoplastic and epoxy) in order to determine which materials are most suitable for the environmental and traffic conditions in ODOT District 11, which contains mostly rural roads with relatively low traffic levels (ADT less than 5,000 vehicles per day) and some areas of mountainous terrain.
The main focus of this study was to evaluate the performance of fast dry traffic paint and polyester as restriping materials; however, epoxy and thermoplastic were included in the evaluation for comparison purposes. The four materials were installed at 11 test sites distributed across the district on two-lane and four-lane highways having a variety of pavement types, pavement geometries, and traffic volumes. The performance of the pavement markings was evaluated in the field for a period of two years in terms of dry retroreflectivity, daytime color, and durability. Laboratory test procedures were also included to examine the quality of the glass beads used in this study. The field performance results were analyzed to determine the service life of the various marking materials. In addition, the results were used to estimate the life cycle cost of these materials and develop a material selection matrix for use in District 11.
Based on the outcome of this study, it was recommended that District 11 continue to use epoxy on new asphalt and concrete surfaces and to use traffic paint for restriping applications. For two-lane roads with asphalt surfaces, it was recommended to restripe the edge lines every two years and restripe the centerlines every year. On selected roads with sharp curves that slope towards the Ohio River, it was recommended to restripe the centerlines as well as the edge lines on an annual basis to avoid run-off road crashes. For multi-lane roads with asphalt surfaces, it was recommended to restripe locations with low traffic and good pavement condition every two years and restripe all lines at locations with high traffic (ADT greater than or equal to 10,000 vehicles per day) or rough pavement condition (pavement condition rating (PCR) less than 80) every year. For all roads with concrete surfaces, it was recommended to restripe all lines every year regardless of the traffic level and pavement condition. One material that is increasingly being used in Ohio for striping and restriping applications on asphalt surfaces is spray thermoplastic. This material was not included in this study because it is not compatible with epoxy, which was previously installed on several of the test sites prior to the beginning of this project. Some districts reported favorable results from using spray thermoplastic.
Therefore, District 11 is encouraged to look into using this less expensive material as an alternative for epoxy markings on new asphalt surfaces. It should be emphasized that the previous recommendations are specific to District 11 and may not be applicable to other ODOT districts due to variations in traffic levels, environmental conditions, and pavement marking material selection practices.