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Section 5: Pavement Marking Management Programs

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Recent advancement in mobile retroreflectometer technology has provided transportation agencies with an objective field measurement tool to evaluate nighttime pavement marking brightness. As a result, some state agencies have initiated pavement marking management programs using mobile pavement marking retroreflectometers to provide an objective measure of marking quality, assisting in the optimization of material selection and restriping cycles.

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Because TxDOT spends millions of dollars on pavement markings each year, markings should be looked upon as a manageable asset. Pavement marking management can be viewed simply as a method of managing resources to optimize the cost-effectiveness of a pavement marking program. Pavement marking management is based largely on retroreflectivity performance over time. If used correctly, pavement marking management provides a comprehensive approach to designing, constructing, maintaining, and rehabilitating pavement markings in the most cost-effective manner.

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Current Circumstances

TxDOT currently does not have an objective statewide pavement marking management program, although one may be developed in the near future. Very little engineering is currently involved with the selection and construction of pavement marking materials and the maintenance and rehabilitation of markings. Most districts base restripe decisions on visual observations performed on an annual basis, while some restripe based on a regular cycle. On many occasions, markings are restriped before or after their end of service life, wasting monetary resources and presenting safety issues. In addition, activities at the federal level suggest that in the future markings will be required to meet minimum in-service levels of retroreflectivity.

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