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BACKGROUND Work zones by nature present transitions and changes to motorists’ expectations. Given these conditions, providing proper guidance to motorists is critical. With respect to pavement markings, the challenge is to provide sufficient markings but in a temporary setting. Various pavement-marking products are currently in use within work zones; however, their effectiveness and cost can vary widely. OBJECTIVE This research evaluated the effectiveness of several common removable pavement marking products in terms of daytime presence, retroreflectivity, and removability. METHODOLOGYThe work zone pavement marking evaluation was organized into three tasks as follows:

  • Work with industry to identify the available products specific to removable tapes having a wet night retroreflective and/or wet recoverable feature
  • Acquire these products and coordinate installation with a local contractor for a central Iowa work zone
  • Monitor and measure performance in terms of durability (presence and retroreflectivity) and removal

The pavement marking evaluation was completed on an active work zone in central Iowa with the roadway setting and performance duration defined by the project. The desire was to select a project that would leave the markings in place for at least 30 days and have sufficient average daily traffic to provide an evaluation of wear. The evaluation included both white and yellow edge-line markings within the taper and crossover sections of a work zone. Performance was measured in terms of presence, retroreflectivity, and ease of removal. Presence was evaluated in terms of the amount of product remaining at the end of the evaluation period. Retroreflectivity was measured using a 30 meter geometry retroreflectometer. Product removal was evaluated in terms of internal tape strength, adhesive bond, and the amount of discernible markings after removal based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP).


Mechanical and Civil Engineering