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Evaluation of Portable Rumble Strips

Status: Complete

Description: The ATM product is similar to that evaluated previously by the smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative (1999, 2002) from the same manufacturer. These strips were approximately 300 mil thick and 4 inches wide (they are cut to length). The adhesive is factory applied with a protective backing that is removed immediately prior to application. Previous studies have found the strips at this thickness to generate in-vehicle noise and vibration levels similar to those produced by traditional raised asphalt rumble strips (i.e., in Kansas). The strips have been demonstrated to be durable both in terms of strip wear and adhesive longevity. This study was aimed at examining the reuse of the strips facilitated by the application of a supplemental adhesive layer following each installation and removal. A test was devised to provide a relative measure of the adhesive’s ability to resist vertical loading. The baseline for the tests was the strip with only the factory applied layer of adhesive, which has been demonstrated to perform satisfactorily. The second point of observation was the amount of effort required for repeated installation and removal. The application of supplemental layers of adhesive was found to significantly increase the strip’s resistance to vertical loading, suggesting that a reapplied strip would perform at least as well as those observed in earlier work. The strips were also significantly more difficult to remove, although after the second layer of supplemental adhesive was applied, the strips could still be removed by hand by a single person, although some workers may not be able to do so. The supplemental adhesive was easily applied, and the reinstallation of the strip was comparable in effort to the initial installation. Based on the results of this and previous studies, these strips can be recommended for reuse using supplemental adhesive as per manufacturer recommendations.

The product from RTI conformed to acceptable dimensions as recommended in previous work done by the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative. The application and reapplication of the strips as portable rumble strips was considered with respect to the adhesion using the vendor supplied methods and the removal and reinstallation effort required. Of several adhesives provided by the manufacturer, none were deemed appropriate for the application of temporary rumble strips. The strip alone is not heavy enough to remain in place without adhesives under traffic traveling at highway speeds. Consequently, the strips as tested cannot be recommended for use as temporary rumble strips. It should be emphasized that the reason the strips cannot be recommended for this application is that the adhesives were not appropriate. The strips themselves would likely perform satisfactorily in a longer term context with the vendor supplied adhesives or in a temporary context if another more appropriate adhesive could be identified.

Report: 2004-meyer-portable-rumble-atmrti.pdf 711 kb (published 2006)

State conducting research: Kansas


  • Advanced Traffic Markings
  • RTI


  • Meyer, Eric (Meyer ITS)
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