The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 51-03 [Active (Synthesis)]

Temporary Pavement Markings Placement and Removal Practices in Work Zones
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Tanya Zwahlen
Research Agency: University of Missouri-Columbia
Principal Investigator: Henry Brown
Effective Date: 9/17/2019
Fiscal Year: 2019

Final Scope


The placement, maintenance and removal of temporary or permanent pavement markings in work zones is challenging. The placement, maintenance and removal of temporary pavement markings within the work zone may create driver confusion. The process and timing associated with placing or removing pavement markings may interrupt or impede construction operations and require extensive DOT coordination. It is common for pavement marking placement and removal to be a significantly delayed sub-phase of construction, and can also increase the risk of incidents or crashes within the work zone.


This objective of this synthesis is to document state department of transportation (DOT) practice for pavement marking placement, maintenance and removal in work zones.


Information to be gathered will include, but is not limited to:


       Temporary traffic control requirements for pavement marking application and removal

       Existence of written DOT policy, guidelines, standards, or specifications for temporary pavement markings and removal.

       Basis of payment under the construction contract for maintenance of temporary pavement markings during construction. (e.g. inclusion in lump sum or itemized per application)

       Temporary pavement marking application and removal on intermediate and final pavement surfaces.

       DOT monitoring and inspection, and enforcement of temporary pavement markings in the workzone for quality assurance.

       Minimum quality requirements, (e.g, color and retroreflectivity requirements)

       Material selection and durability considerations for different pavement surface types and roadway conditions (e.g. concrete and asphalt)

       Marking removal on different pavement surface types and roadway conditions (e.g. concrete and asphalt)

       Timeline requirements for temporary pavement markings (e.g. guidelines for use of “abbreviated patterns”)

       Design considerations for temporary pavement markings

       Innovative, effective workzone marking practices as reported by DOTs


Information will be gathered through literature review, a survey of DOT’s, and interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.



Information Sources (Partial):

       NCHRP Report 759


Topic Panel
Neil E. Boudreau, Massachusetts DOT
Marshall Douberley, Florida DOT
Maysa Hanna, Arizona DOT
Juan D. Pava, Illinois DOT
John W. Shaw, Iowa State University

TRB Staff
M. Andre Primus




Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 17, 2019, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 22, 2019 
Second Panel: July 7, 2020


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