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N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP REPORT 759 Effective Removal of Pavement Markings Adam M. Pike Jeffrey D. Miles Texas a&M TransporTaTion insTiTuTe College Station, TX Subscriber Categories Maintenance and Preservation â¢ Operations and Traffic Management â¢ Safety and Human Factors TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2013 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Boardâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America NCHRP REPORT 759 Project 14-22 ISSN 0077-5614 ISBN 978-0-309-28358-8 Library of Congress Control Number 2013950702 Â© 2013 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under NCHRP Project 14-22 by the Texas A&M Trans- portation Institute, The Texas A&M University System. The authors would like to especially thank the project panel for its guidance and contributions to the research effort. The authors wish to express their appreciation to the many individuals from around the country who committed their time to completing the survey portion of the research. Cooperation and assistance in completing surveys is often critical to research and is very much appreciated. The authors would like to thank Batterson L.L.P., Stripes and Stops Co. Inc., Highway Technologies Inc., and SMITH Mfg. Co. Inc. for their assistance in the pavement mark- ing removal portions of the research. This research could not have been completed without the efforts of Ivan Lorenz, Lance Ballard, Sandra Stone, Melisa Finley, and Paul Carlson, all of whom are from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, as well as consultants Omar Smadi, Neal Hawkins, and Chalmers Engineering Services Inc. CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 759 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs David Reynaud, Senior Program Officer Megan Chamberlain, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Maria Sabin Crawford, Assistant Editor NCHRP PROJECT 14-22 PANEL Field of MaintenanceâArea of Maintenance of Way and Structures Scott E. Nodes, Arizona DOT, Phoenix, AZ (Chair) Michael Dean Sock, Rhode Island DOT, Providence, RI Leslie Ann McCarthy, Villanova University, Villanova, PA Linus K. Motumah, California DOT, Sacramento, CA Matthew W. Mueller, Illinois DOT, Springfield, IL Brian A. Stanford, Texas DOT, Austin, TX Paul E. Vinik, Florida DOT, Gainesville, FL Gerald E. Willhelm, H.W. Lochner, Inc., Bellevue, WA J. Richard Young, Jr., Atkins North America, Inc., Jackson, MS Carl K. Andersen, FHWA Liaison James W. Bryant, Jr., TRB Liaison
F O R E W O R D By David Reynaud Staff Officer Transportation Research Board Traffic pattern changes can be problematic if the markings are not completely removed or the removal technique produces scarring of the roadway surface which, in darkness or rain, can be confusing to drivers and create an unsafe driving environment. NCHRP Report 759: Effective Removal of Pavement Markings presents field evaluation results of five removal methods applied to eight pavement marking material types on multiple pavement surfaces using a number of performance measures. These field observations, combined with results from a survey of 55 state and local agencies, yielded recommendations to aid in the selection of pavement marking removal techniques. This report will be of interest to state and local highway agency construction managers and contractors engaged in removal of pavement markings at the end their service life or to facilitate the changing of traffic patterns associ- ated with road construction detours. During construction projects, it is often necessary to implement lane shifts in order to detour traffic around work zones or establish a new alignment. Shifting lanes requires obscuring or removing the existing pavement markings and applying new markings along the new alignment. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requires that all visible traces of the existing marking be removed or obliterated, and it does not allow for removal methods that will cause unacceptable scarring of the pavement. However, there is no specification for a level of scarring that is acceptable. One of the primary requirements of pavement marking systems is to create a durable, strongly bonded material. Pavement markings have to be capable of withstanding several years of wear due to heavy traffic at highway speeds and resist the environment (UV expo- sure, freeze/thaw, chemicals, etc.). Many of the new systems are epoxy-based and adhere adamantly to the pavement. Black tapes that are applied to obscure the existing markings tend not to last long enough and/or have different reflective properties than the pavement and may confuse drivers as to the correct path to follow. The problem may be exacerbated at night and in wet weather. Chemical systems that are aggressive enough to remove epox- ies and other products may raise safety and environmental concerns. As a result, removal generally requires grinding of the markings, which leaves undesirable scarring that is often mistaken for actual pavement markings under low-light or wet conditions. Consequently, the owners of public highways are faced with a very difficult problem. The objective of this research was to determine best practices for the safe, cost-effective, and environmentally acceptable removal of work zone and permanent pavement markings with minimal damage to the underlying pavement or visible character of the surface course. To achieve the project objective, the research team from Texas A&M Transportation Institute conducted a literature review and surveyed state and local agencies to identify
pavement marking removal processes to evaluate. They then developed a matrix of these pavement marking removal systems to be evaluated based on type of process, pavement type, and marking material. The next step was the development of criteria to measure the effectiveness of removal techniques for the systems included in this matrix. Finally, the researchers observed a field trial of each pavement marking removal process and assessed the success or failure of each trial with respect to marking removal, pavement condition, cost effectiveness, and environmental impact.
C O N T E N T S 1 Summary 7 Chapter 1 Introduction 7 Objectives 9 Chapter 2 Literature Review 9 Past Research 12 Measures of Effectiveness 13 Chapter 3 Identification, Description, and Evaluation of Removal Processes 13 Blasting 14 Grinding 15 Burning 16 Laser 16 Chemical 16 Masking 16 Summary 20 Chapter 4 Pavement Marking Removal Survey 20 Survey Development and Distribution 20 Survey Response Summary and Discussion 49 Chapter 5 Field Study Design and Evaluation 49 Removal Combinations to Evaluate 50 Criteria to Measure the Effectiveness of Removal Techniques 51 Field Removal Operations 53 Controlled Test Deck Marking Removal Evaluation 68 Field Observations of Removal Operations 75 Chapter 6 Additional Areas of Study 75 Environmental and Worker Safety Issues 81 Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues Related to Specific Pavement Marking Removal Procedures 83 Recommended Best Practices for Management of Environmental and Worker Safety Issues 84 Temporary Tape Pavement Markings 88 Masking of Markings and Blending of Removal Areas 93 Chapter 7 Conclusions, Recommendations, and Suggested Research 93 Conclusions 95 Recommendations 97 Suggested Research
98 References A-1 Appendix A Original State DOT and Local Agency Survey B-1 Appendix B Revised Survey C-1 Appendix C State Pavement Marking Removal Specifications D-1 Appendix D Summary Data from Field Removal Evaluations E-1 Appendix E Standalone Pros and Cons of Each Removal Process Including Effectiveness with Respect to Pavement Marking Materials Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.