Construction zone lane lines explained

Construction zone lane lines explained

July 21, 2011

HOV lanes are being built on the  Loop 202 (Santan) Freeway in Chandler. Travel lanes have been shifted to create a safe construction zone. A faint pavement "scar" can be seen here.

With the number of road construction projects happening around the Valley right now, chances are you’ve driven through an active construction zone or two recently.

Maybe you’ve noticed the lane lines in some of these construction zones look a little different. A little … temporary?

That’s because they probably are.

Before work can even begin on some projects, travel lanes must be re-configured in the work zone so motorists can drive around construction and on through to their destination. This is a temporary shift, but necessary for a productive and safe work zone.


Work is complete on this section of the Loop 202 (Santan) Freeway in Chandler near Alma School Road. The pavement "scars" are gone.

Shifting the configuration of the travel lanes is a two-step process.

First, ADOT crews grind out the existing lane lines. Next, workers use a temporary-tape product to re-stripe the roadway into its temporary configuration for construction.

The grinding process can leave behind a pavement “scar,” which can appear to some motorists as a lane line, especially when the sun hits the pavement at certain angles. Some drivers might even observe two visible sets of lane markings because they are seeing the pavement scars and the temporary-tape lane lines.

When crews shift the travel lanes back to their original configuration, crews remove the temporary-tape lane markings and will put permanent tape lane lines where they belong. Removing the temporary tape lane lines does not leave behind scars on the pavement.

The process ADOT uses to mark temporary lane configurations is not uncommon during construction and is compliant with state and federal standards. Extensive signage is always posted to notify drivers that they are in an active construction zone that requires driving with a heightened sense of caution and obeying posted speed limits.