Orange Work Zone Pavement Markings: Experience Gained from Early Field TrialsAuthor/Presenter: DeDene, Christopher D; Dupont, Brian
Traffic lanes must often be repositioned or reallocated to accommodate highway construction. Various techniques for removing existing pavement markings are available, but “ghost marking” (visible remnants of old pavement marking) is a persistent problem. Ghost markings have been a problem during reconstruction of the Milwaukee-area Zoo Interchange, Wisconsin’s most heavily traveled freeway-to-freeway interchange. Year-round construction began in 2013 and is expected to continue through 2018. During the winter of 2013-14 salt residue and snow events obscured the lane lines and made traversing the busy interchange perilous, especially through lane shifts. In response, WisDOT began experimenting with the use of temporary orange pavement markings. This paper chronicles the efforts taken by WisDOT to implement the innovative color, a first for the United States. The agency experienced some initial problems related to paint application techniques and color fading, but these materials issues are being resolved. Road user surveys indicate that overall public response to the orange markings has been positive. Driver behavior appears to be more consistent than it was with the white markings. While the data is insufficient to draw statistical conclusions about crash rates, preliminary information suggests that the orange markings are at least as safe as their white counterparts. The cost of the special marking materials was considerably higher than standard white marking, but the price premium can be expected to decline some if orange marking is deployed more widely.