Missouri adopts new marking system for roadways

| 7/27/2005

Missouri highways will soon be sporting a new look, with brighter, longer-lasting pavement markings designed to make driving easier and roads safer.

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.

The Pennsylvania 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.