Ohio feels the benefit of work-zone rumble strips

Rumble strips

Plastic Safety Systems recently had the opportunity to provide RoadQuake 2 temporary portable rumble strips for an Ohio DOT job in Licking County. Project 98 (2013) was a “mill-and-fill” resurface job on Ohio Rte. 16 between Reynoldsburg and Granville. The job was completed at the end of July.

Ohio Rte. 16 is a two-lane road; the job of course would employ flaggers to direct traffic. Shelly Co., the general contractor, wanted to use the temporary portable rumble strips in advance of the flaggers, to provide extra protection during the nighttime work.

Designed to reduce accidents and save lives, the temporary portable rumble strips alert drivers to changing road conditions. RoadQuake 2 is an effective traffic safety countermeasure that can reduce distracted driving in work zones.

The rumble strips force drivers to pay attention to their driving. The rumble strips will reduce driver distraction, whether manual, like tuning the radio; visual, like reading a billboard; or cognitive, like talking on the phone.

In addition, by alerting drivers, the rumble strips can significantly reduce the major causes of work-zone accidents and fatalities: driving too fast for conditions, following too close to the car ahead and making improper lane changes.

Much like traditional, longitudinal strips, the temporary portable rumble strips provide significant sounds and vibrations that alert drivers to pay attention to their driving.

The rumble of the vibrations, combined with the familiar “bump-da-bump” sound of tires driving over strips, is as loud and vibrating as driving over milled-in rumble strips, per a University of Kansas study conducted in 2009.

RoadQuake 2 rumble strips were designed for use in work zones of short duration. The rumble strip is a temporary device: no adhesives or fasteners are required. They conform to the surface of the road. As such, they are ideal for use where the zone is set up and torn down frequently, perhaps every day.

So the Rte. 16 job, a nighttime resurfacing project, with flaggers and frequent movement of the work zone, was an ideal application for the temporary portable rumble strips.

Once in use for a short time, feedback was quite positive.

Ben Koehler, operations manager, Southern Division, for Shelly Co., said his “flaggers really liked the rumble strips. You could see that drivers were braking” as they approached and crossed the transverse array.

They’ve not reported any accidents in the work zone thus far. Further, on the only day the temporary portable rumble strips were not installed, the flaggers had a near-miss.

Koehler concluded: “I would like to see Ohio DOT allow the use of the temporary rumble strips in work zones, especially nighttime flagging operations.”

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