The 1988 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices standardized the length of temporary pavement markings at 4 ft. This is more than double what many states had specified. Research was needed to determine if its proposed 4-ft markings would significantly improve safety and operations.
The specific objective of this research was to compare the safety and operational effectiveness of 1-ft, 2-ft, and 4-ft temporary broken line pavement markings in work zones. The scope and test conditions studied were: (1) surfacing operation on a two-lane, two-way facility; (2) data collection during hours of darkness; (3) dry roadway conditions; (4) tangent and curve sections; (5) use of the test state(s) typical pavement marking cycle (40 to 50 ft); and (6) field tests in real or staged work zones that are open to traffic.
All research has been completed, and the final report has been provided to the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and to FHWA. On the basis of the limited conditions studied and the project findings, further research is deemed necessary before any further changes in the MUTCD are contemplated.
The findings of this research project were presented by the principal investigator at the TRB Annual Meeting in January, 1988. A paper, "Field Studies of Temporary Pavement Markings at Overlay Project Work Zones on Two-Lane, Two-Way Rural Highways," by Conrad L. Dudek, R. Dale Huchingson, F. Thomas Creasey, and Olga Pendleton, has been published in Transportation Research Record 1160, Traffic Control Devices 1988. The Record also includes a discussion by Anita W. Ward and an author's closure. The final report will not be published.