Missouri highways will soon be sporting a new look, with
brighter, longer-lasting pavement markings designed to make driving easier and
On Aug. 1, the Missouri Department of Transportation will
begin using a high-tech pavement marking system on all new pavement. The
markings are supposed to be more visible during all conditions, especially at
night and in the rain.
“We’ve studied highways around the country and worked with
the nation’s leading companies to develop the best products for Missouri,” said
MoDOT System Management Director Don Hillis. “A combination of wider stripes, a
very reflective tape, rumblestripes, more durable paint and improved signs will
give the driver the best visibility possible and be cost effective.”
Rumblestripes – grooved patterns in the pavement painted
with durable, highly reflective paint – cause a vehicle to vibrate when it
leaves the driving lane. Wider centerline stripes, six inches wide instead of
four, made from durable tape instead of paint, will last eight years instead of
requiring an annual repainting, according to a MoDOT press release. The tape
also has a raised pattern for a high level of reflectivity making it more
visible to drivers.
In a recently
released study by Higher Highway Safety Standards, a lobbying and advocacy
organization whose aim is improving road conditions and safety, 99 percent of
all drivers between the ages of 18 ad 65 believe bright and easy-to-see road
markings are important to road safety.
The study also found
that 94 percent of the subjects believe state and local municipalities should
make easy-to-see lane stripes a priority, and that drivers 50 years and older
were most likely to support the initiative.
Legislature passed a bill that would’ve added $1.5 million to the state’s
budget to widen the stripes to six inches, but the governor line-item vetoed
the measure from the 2005-06 budget when it reached his desk.
MoDOT’s pavement-marking system will be applied to 2,200
miles of new pavement on both major and minor roadways by the end of 2007.