Pavement Marking/Colored Pavement Friction Differential and Product Durability

Principal Investigator(s):

Mihai Marasteanu, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Safety of all modes of travel represents one of MnDOT's core values. The frictional characteristics of pavement surfaces is a major component of safety; good skid resistance allows users to move and stop safely under various weather and moisture conditions. While pavement markings play a very important role in traffic flow and safety, they also tend to be slippery, since most of them contain glass media needed to improve retroreflectivity for night visibility. The sudden change in frictional characteristics when transitioning from normal pavement surfaces to pavement markings and--in some cases--to colored pavement lanes, can create a safety hazard for pedestrians (including those with disabilities), motorcyclists, and bicyclists, especially under wet conditions.

In recent years, a number of pavement marking and colored pavement products that provide improved friction properties and, in some cases, also show promise from a durability standpoint, have become available. A number of them have been used on MnDOT projects; however, there has been no rigorous scientific investigation to measure and analyze the friction differential between pavement markings/colored pavement and the surrounding pavement.

In this project researchers are addressing this issue by performing skid resistance testing on a number of products, using different testing devices, and providing guidelines for evaluating the frictional characteristics of pavement markings and colored pavements. In addition, a comprehensive literature review will be performed to better understand what is being done nationally and internationally to address the issue of friction differential.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2022015
  • Start date: 06/2021
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic operations