CTRE is an Iowa State University center, administered by the Institute for Transportation.

Address: 2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, IA 50010-8664

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Durable Pavement Marking and Grooving


Principal investigators:

Project status


Start date: 01/01/13
End date: 04/30/18


Report: Durable Pavement Marking and Grooving (1.32 mb pdf) April 2018

Tech transfer summary: Durable Pavement Marking and Grooving (371.02 kb pdf) Apr 2018



About the research


Maintaining effective pavement markings year-round is a challenge in Iowa, where winter maintenance causes so much damage due to the harsh winter exposure from snow plow blades, sand, and salt brine. Given these conditions, and a limited painting season, it is critical that agencies select the proper pavement marking materials for the roadways in their network.

The overarching objective of this work was to support the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Pavement Marking Task Force (PMT) in achieving better pavement markings statewide.

While the initial scope of this project was to evaluate different durable markings and pavement grooving configurations in an effort to make better choices for year-round markings, limited funding, difficulty in finding a contractor for a small test site, and adverse weather conditions caused the project to be revised to omit the field evaluation.

Instead, the project focused on supporting PMT decision making in light of challenging financial conditions, and particularly supporting efforts to determine paint truck and material choices by looking at peer states, and also by looking at contracting options for installation on the state system.

Pavement markings play a critical role in guiding motorists and delineating roadways for safe travel. The identification and use of more durable pavement markings may be the key to improving visibility, operations, and—most importantly—safety.