Texas company first in USA to be certified to use RetroTek’s pavement assessment system

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Striping Service and Supply Inc. (SSS) has become the first USA striping contractor certified by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to operate the RetroTek-MU road striping retroreflectometer developed by the Irish company Reflective Measurement Systems (RMS).

Based in Grand Prairie, Texas, SSS is now able to use the RetroTek technology across the TxDOT road network following its completion of Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) stringent certification program, which provides a quantitative basis for evaluating the ability of a contractor to operate their retroreflectometer equipment to accurately measure the retroreflectivity (RL) of long-line pavement markings.

The program was developed and administered by TTI through an implementation project sponsored by TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). TTI Certification consists of taking numerous pavement markings measurements of various colors, patterns, and retroreflectivity levels and providing the measurement results to the TTI officials for assessment.

Based in Dublin, RMS develops commercially viable vehicle-mounted road asset technologies to measure the retroreflective and visibility properties of road surface assets, on global highway networks. The company’s RetroTek-MU is its next-generation of vehicle-mounted retroreflectors, and unlike traditional side-mounted units it is fitted centrally to the front of a vehicle.

This eliminates the need to drive close to the striping at the edge of the lane, making it safer for the operator and other road users as it is not protruding from the side of the vehicle and not subject to dirt ingress from the vehicle’s front wheels. The RetroTek-MU sensor is mounted higher than side-mounted systems as it surveys at 50ft (15m) distance (conforming to 100ft (30m) geometry), and is less likely to get damaged with impact from speed ramps and other obstructions.

The sensor does not need to be switched from one side of the vehicle to the other to survey different lines such as edge and center markings, as the RetroTek-MU surveys across the full width of a lane in one pass, reducing downtime and travel distances. The unit is easy to fit, calibrate, operate and remove, with a comprehensive suite of mapping and video software for post survey analysis, and is independently certified to ASTM E 1710 and CEN EN 1436. In addition to surveying both lines and studs across a lane, it can detect and measure center lane markings and symbols, which side mounted systems cannot do.

“After four years of research and development, the RetroTek-MU is the most efficient, economical, easy to calibrate and operate vehicle mounted retroreflectometer compared to any other traditional side-mounted system commercially available today,” said Joe Turley CEO of RMS.

“With the advent of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), this technology will assist road agencies and infrastructure stakeholders to assess and manage the pavement markings of their entire road network safely and quickly. We are delighted that SSS have chosen our RetroTek-MU technology to address their increasing demand for safe, fast and reliable pavement striping assessment.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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