The Office of Materials Technology Modernizes Recessed Pavement Markers
The original recessed pavement marker in metal housing (left) and the new recessed pavement marker featuring plastic housing (right).
While we are encouraged to color outside the lines, we do need to drive within them. In customer survey responses, visible lane markings constantly rate highest in importance. Driving at night compromises depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. MDOT SHA's reflective recessed pavement markers (RPMs) illuminate lane markings, keeping motorists safely within their respective paths of travel during dim driving conditions.
In the past, recessed pavement markers were installed in metal housing with epoxy (pictured left). Weighing roughly five pounds and rising slightly above the asphalt surface, the installed cost of installation is approximately $31.50 and $8.00 per unit. Additionally, the metal housings sometimes rust and separate from the roadway.
The Office of Materials Technology (OMT) has discovered a safer alternative, modernizing RPMs from metal to plastic (pictured right) - an initiative that will ultimately cost less and improve roadway safety exponentially. Approximately $25-40 in installation and around $2.85 per unit, the plastic RPMs weigh under half a pound. The plastic housing sits in a groove just below the surface of the asphalt pavement, protecting it from wear and tear.
Over the past year, OMT has also been exploring and monitoring the performance of additional durable pavement markings in lieu of metal housing RPMs. Examples include stand-alone reflective lenses in grooves, Wet Reflective Tapes, and liquid pavement-making materials such as Methyl Methacrylate, Epoxy, Thermoplastic (90 mil) and Polyurea.
Safety is our number one priority at MDOT SHA. By modernizing reflective pavement markers, we're keeping Maryland motorists out of harm's way. Our citizens rely heavily on our success in harnessing the power of modernization and propelling our agency to transportation's ever-evolving future.