On Friday, August 7, members of VAA met with representatives of VDOT’s Traffic Engineering Division. At the last Traffic Engineering Cooperative Committee meeting, it was decided to gather a team of industry and VDOT members to discuss the progress of several traffic engineering initiatives for the 2020 paving season. This meeting was of particular importance given VDOT is currently updating the specifications for the 2021 paving season. The virtual meeting was well attended by both VAA (Paving and Pavement Marking Contractors) members and VDOT staff.
The meeting topics covered a range of subjects from expanded use of shoulder rumble strips to routes with narrow shoulders, the addition of new sinusoidal (mumble) strips, to the implementation of plastic inlaid markers on routes with centerline rumble strips. Members expressed continued concern with some VDOT districts requiring the PIM groove to be sealed in asphalt surfaces and the complexity associated with the placement of thermoplastic line markings to avoid bleed through of emulsion. This sealing requirement, while potentially a good idea, has not been justified with pavement performance data.
Additionally, the expanded use of rumble strips on routes with varying width shoulders has created some productivity challenges. Per the RS-9 standard, the shoulder rumble strip installation requirement varies by shoulder width. For many paving sections, the shoulder width could vary, resulting in 1, 2, or even 3 rumble strip installation requirements along its length. To change from one cut width to another requires equipment modification. The team discussed modifying the VDOT instructional memorandum to specify the rumble strip standard for a paving section based on the minimal shoulder width for the section.
Look for more information soon as VDOT submits draft guidance for review and comment.