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Performance of broken, continuous and profiled road markings over time

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Background & Policy context

Paved public roads usually have longitudinal road markings, which can be of different types. Two-lane roads should have a 10 or 15 cm wide broken edge line, but a continuous edge line can be used in order to enhance visibility. If the annual average daily traffic (AADT) is ≥ 2000 the edge lines must be wet-night visible, which is attained by creating a so-called profiled marking.


The aim of the project was to investigate whether there is a difference in durability between a broken and a continuous edge line, and to investigate whether there is a difference in performance and durability between different types of profiled markings. 


In the first part of the project, broken and continuous edge lines were applied on a public two-lane road. The performance of the markings was followed up by annual measurements of retro reflectivity RL and luminance coefficient Qd for four years. In the second part of the project, a test field with six different types of markings - one without and five with profile – were applied on a public road.



Follow-up measurements of retro reflectivity RL on dry as well as on wet markings, and luminance coefficient Qd in dry conditions were carried out after one and two years. No difference in durability between broken and continuous edge lines was shown.

Regarding profiled markings, a road marking with an embossed pattern had the best performance with respect to all three performance parameters. Profiled markings with diagonal squares (“stairs”) had better performance than markings with transversal lines.



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