Title:
Extended life road system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A roadway is widened preferably by no more than 36 inches to move current traffic lanes on state and interstate highways and county roads to control the wear of these roadways. After a period of time with normal road wear taking place along a first pair of strips in each demarked travel lane where the tires normally ride, the travel lanes are shifted preferably by 36+− inches. The old roadway lines are removed and new lines added shifted by 36+− inches. After the shift, the pair of strips of the road wear are now shifted to a second pair of strips in each demarked travel lane where there has been little wear, thus extending the life of the roadway, then after a period of time these lanes can be shifted back 18 inches, then shifted back to the original position and repeated until the roadway needs to be resurfaced, thus further extending the life of the roadway.



Inventors:
Moore, Orel Ronald (Myrtle Creek, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/642069
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
12/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ADDIE, RAYMOND W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald, Meeker W. (924 East Ocean Front #E, Newport Beach, CA, 92661, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An extended life roadway system providing regular periodic wear strip wide partial lane shifts along a roadway surface for extending the life of a roadway in a roadway surface comprising a hard vehicle bearing surface having a number of travel lanes marked by lane divider lines thereon, each of the travel lanes having a pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface by receiving wear from tires of vehicles traveling over the roadway surface repeatedly following the same path of travel in each of the travel lanes, the pair of wear strips comprising a spaced parallel pair of roadway sections along the length of the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes, each of the wear strips having a width not greater than a quarter of the width of a travel lane, the system comprising: a lateral extension of a roadway surface on at least one side of the roadway surface by at least the width of a wear strip along the entire length of a roadway surface creating an extra side surface along the length of the roadway, so that an extended width roadway is formed for regular periodic partial lateral shifting of a series of lane markers by a width of a wear strip of the location of the travel lanes on the roadway, the extended width roadway having a first series of lane divider lines marking a first series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in a first laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over a first period of time having a first pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes; and a second series of lane divider lines replacing the first series of lane divider lines, the first series of lane divider lines being removed, the second series of lane divider lines positioned in parallel alignment to the first series of lane divider lines and spaced apart from the first series of lane divider lines by a width of the wear strip, at least one of the second series of lane divider lines located on the lateral extension of the roadway surface, the second series of lane divider lines marking a second series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in a second laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over a second period of time having a second pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes adjacent to the location of the first pair of wear strips to provide regular periodic shifting of the series of lane divider lines to alternate the wear pattern to control the wear of the roadway and to extend the life of the roadway so that over the extended life of the road the entire roadway surface is worn evenly thereby increasing the life of the roadway and providing a safer environment for a motorist.

2. The system of claim 1 further comprising at least one additional series of lane divider lines replacing the second series of lane divider lines, the second series of lane divider lines being removed, the at least one additional series of lane divider lines positioned in parallel alignment to the second series of lane divider lines and spaced apart from the second series of lane divider lines by a width of the wear strip, at least one of the at least one additional series of lane divider lines located on the lateral extension of the roadway surface, the at least one additional series of lane divider lines marking at least one additional series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in at least one additional laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over at least one additional period of time having at least one additional pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes adjacent to the location of the second pair of wear strips to control further the wear of the roadway and to extend further the life of the roadway so that over the extended life of the road the entire roadway surface is worn evenly thereby increasing the life of the roadway further and providing a safer environment for a motorist.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the lateral extension of the roadway surface is at least eighteen inches thereby widening the roadway surface by the eighteen inches.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein the lateral extension of the roadway surface is between eighteen inches and thirty-six inches.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein the lane divider lines are formed by a coating on the roadway visually different from the roadway itself so that the coating is clearly visible as roadway lane divider lines by motorists traveling on the roadway.

6. The system of claim 5 further comprising a means for covering the first series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

7. The system of claim 5 further comprising a means for removing the first series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein the lane divider lines are produced by imbedding a series of marking means on the roadway visually different from the roadway itself so that the series of marking means is clearly visible as roadway lane divider lines by motorists traveling on the roadway, the series of marking means being removable when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

9. An extended life roadway method providing regular periodic wear strip wide partial lane shifts along a roadway surface for extending the life of a roadway in a roadway surface comprising a hard vehicle bearing surface having a number of travel lanes marked by lane divider lines thereon, each of the travel lanes having a pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface by receiving wear from tires of vehicles traveling over the roadway surface repeatedly following the same path of travel in each of the travel lanes, the pair of wear strips comprising a spaced parallel pair of roadway sections along the length of the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes, each of the wear strips having a width not greater than a quarter of the width of a travel lane, the method comprising: a first step of lateral extending a roadway surface by at least the width of a wear strip on at least one side of the roadway surface along the entire length of a roadway surface creating an extra side surface along the length of the roadway, so that an extended width roadway is formed for regular periodic partial lateral shifting of a series of lane markers by a width of a wear strip of the location of the travel lanes on the roadway, the extended width roadway having a first series of lane divider lines marking a first series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in a first laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over a first period of time having a first pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes; and a second step of forming a second series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway surface replacing the first series of lane divider lines, the first series of lane divider lines being removed, the second series of lane divider lines positioned in parallel alignment to the first series of lane divider lines and spaced apart from the first series of lane divider lines by a width of the wear strip, at least one of the second series of lane divider lines located on the lateral extension of the roadway surface, the second series of lane divider lines marking a second series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in a second laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over a second period of time having a second pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes adjacent to the location of the first pair of wear strips to provide regular periodic shifting of the series of lane divider lines to alternate the wear pattern to control the wear of the roadway and to extend the life of the roadway so that over the extended life of the road the entire roadway surface is worn evenly thereby increasing the life of the roadway and providing a safer environment for a motorist.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising at least one additional step of forming at least one additional series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway replacing the second series of lane divider lines, the second series of lane divider lines being removed, the at least one additional series of lane divider lines positioned in parallel alignment to the second series of lane divider lines and spaced apart from the second series of lane divider lines by a width of the wear strip, at least one of the at least one additional series of lane divider lines located on the lateral extension of the roadway surface, the at least one additional series of lane divider lines marking at least one additional series of designated travel lanes on the extended width roadway in at least one additional laterally positioned location on the roadway surface along the length of the roadway surface for normal traffic flow over at least one additional period of time having at least one additional pair of wear strips formed in the roadway surface in each of the travel lanes adjacent to the location of the second pair of wear strips to control further the wear of the roadway and to extend further the life of the roadway so that over the extended life of the road the entire roadway surface is worn evenly thereby increasing the life of the roadway further and providing a safer environment for a motorist.

11. The method of claim 9 comprising forming the lateral extension of the roadway surface at least eighteen inches thereby widening the roadway surface by the eighteen inches.

12. The method of claim 9 comprising forming the lateral extension of the roadway surface between eighteen inches and thirty-six inches.

13. The method of claim 9 comprising forming the lane divider lines by applying a coating onto the roadway visually different from the roadway itself so that the coating is clearly visible as roadway lane divider lines by motorists traveling on the roadway.

14. The method of claim 13 comprising covering the first series of lane divider lines by a means for covering the first series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

15. The method of claim 13 comprising removing the first series of lane divider lines by a means for removing the first series of lane divider lines on the extended roadway when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

16. The method of claim 9 comprising imbedding a series of marking means on the roadway visually different from the roadway itself to form the lane divider lines so that the series of marking means is clearly visible as roadway lane divider lines by motorists traveling on the roadway, the series of marking means being removable when replaced by the second series of lane divider lines.

17. The method of claim 9 comprising shifting the lane control lines at least once a year.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present utility patent application is a continuation-in-part of utility patent application Ser. No. 10/260200, filed Sep. 28, 2002.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to roadway for vehicles and in particular to a system and method for developing and maintaining a roadway which distributes the wear on the roadway from the tires of traffic using the roadway by providing a width extension of the roadway equal to a wear strip wide portion of a lane width and regular periodic wear strip wide partial lane shifts to shift the wear pattern of tires traveling in traffic lanes by shifting the lane markings laterally by a width of the wear strip on roadways to control the wear of these roadways and to extend the life of the roadway so that over the extended life of the road the entire roadway surface is worn evenly thereby increasing the life of the roadway and providing a safer environment for the motorist.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Current road systems have a set pattern of permanent lanes, which means lanes never change location other than for construction or repair, so the exact same surface is traveled, until the weight finally breaks down that piece of the road which is traveled. A recent project study showed that repairing asphalt pavements on major highways costs an average of $39,000 per lane per mile, and $120,000 per lane per mile for concrete.

In driving, one can observe the fresh pavement as it passes under the hood and notice the fresh and unworn pavement on both sides of the vehicle. Yet, the road is failing as drivers utilize only half of each lane and concentrate the weight of every vehicle into two 3-foot wheel paths in each 12-foot lane, which is the reason rutting occurs and why the road is failing.

Hazards caused by permanent lanes due to concentrated wear on only the narrow wheel paths on the roadway surface include chain reactions of costs and events that are even more costly than the cost of roads that fail 4.5-times faster than they should occur, including ruts, potholes, frequent resurfacing, lane closures and the delays that follow; all of which cause death and injury accidents.

In wet weather ruts become even more hazardous as the water pools and causes the tires to lose contact with the pavement, which can send even the most experienced drivers hydroplaning out of control. The splash from rutted roads blinds on-coming traffic as well as those being passed. These are terrifying experiences that increase the risk of death and injury accidents on every roadway. When the water freezes it is even worse.

Potholes cause tire blowouts and can be a jolting experience resulting in loss of control, which endangers our lives and the lives of other motorists. Such accidents happen instantly and without warning as potholes are often hidden from view by other vehicles.

Permanent lane roads in current use fail 4.5-times more often than they should compared to utilizing the entire lane (as in the present invention) and this prior art practice endangers every motorist, including the work crews repairing the damage.

Permanent lanes on roadways compound cost, increases road hazards and delays. They cause of thousands of death and injury accidents every year. The cost and delay is impacting our economy as it stops productivity for over 50 hours each year for every motorist and that 4.5-times more often than delay should happen.

Another cost of current road systems is keeping motorists stuck in traffic during construction. This is known in the industry as “user delay cost” which should be considered in any analysis of any road life-cycle cost. U.S. motorists spend 50 hours a year stuck in traffic, according to a September, 2000 report in the AASHTO Journal. On a busy interstate highway, traffic delays from a single construction project can easily cost a local economy more than two million dollars per day. This does not include the personal cost of death, injury and property damage caused by such construction.

While there have been many attempts to provide novel marking systems and other means for diverting traffic patterns on existing roadways and other vehicle-bearing surfaces, most are complex or expensive or both and deal with directing traffic without consideration for extending the life of the roadway.

Jelinek, in U.S. Pat. No. 2,287,685, discloses a system of curbs that may be lowered to be flush with the pavement or raised to provide a barrier for a variable capacity highway.

Woods, Jr., in U.S. Pat. No. 4,017,200, shows a highway lane divider barrier and apparatus for shifting the barrier, to periodically alter the median location of the roadway to accommodate differing traffic flow patterns for different times of the day.

German patent disclosure number DE 41 35 693 describes a novel marking system of traffic rotaries that utilizes a spiral marking pattern, rather than concentric circles.

Other patents and applications of interest include Moorhead US application number US 2001/0046413 A1, Troemel et al. US application number US 2002/0076276 A1, King U.S. Pat. No. 1,816,379, Harrington et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,011,412, Woods U.S. Pat. No. 3,188,927, Reinitzhuber et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,366,020, Chang U.S. Pat. No. 2,945,745, Pemberton U.S. Pat. No. 4,659,249, Raswant U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,927,288 and 5,092,705, Chen U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,020, Barel U.S. Pat. No. 5,897,270, Namanny U.S. Pat. No. 6,155,744, Schindler et al. U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,780 B1 and Japanese patent number 6-228903.

There is no prior art disclosed for a paved road system that allows for alternation travel position to extending the life of roads because the adversity caused by permanent lanes has been an accepted as a common practice since the inception of roads.

Lane shifts are often used during construction while work is underway, but no-where is it suggested or practiced that partial lane shifts could be used for distributing wear patterns to extended the life of the road, nor is it suggested or practiced how such a system could be accomplished.

The lane shifts to implement the system and method of the present invention are used to control the wear for our roadways and would not be limited to a specific area which is the case in road construction or when adding a lane. Prior art lane shifts have never been designed or implemented to control wear, nor do present temporary construction lanes shifts suggest using the regular periodic partial lanes shift to be implemented to achieve extending the life of the roads and making our highways safer.

The system and method of the present invention requires no grinding up pavement to do the lane shifting that the prior art practices.

What is needed is a relatively inexpensive and easy to implement roadway system and method which require less maintenance and construction for repairs and also to extend the life of the roadway so that the roadway does not need resurfacing as frequently.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a roadway system which allows for shifting the location of the lanes on the roadway slightly to one side of the currently used lanes by providing a slightly wider roadway (36 inches) and moving the lanes over approximately 36 inches so that the tires of motorists' vehicles travel over a different strip of roadway which normally would not be used then after a period of time these lanes can be shifted back 18 inches, then shifted back to its original position and repeated until the roadway needs to be resurfaced, and thereby at least more than doubling the life of the roadway by spreading the wear over the entire surface of the roadway rather than allowing travel over the same lanes and wearing out the roadway prematurely along the strips where the tires normally travel.

A corollary object of the present invention is to reduce the costs of roadways by extending their life and require half as many or fewer road resurfacings.

Another corollary object of the present invention is to reduce the maintenance required on roadways by shifting the lanes over before the normally traveled strips of the road are worn out by the tires and no maintenance is required for a longer period of time.

In brief, in the present invention roads are constructed with an additional partial lane width added to the side of the required travel lanes to accommodate regular periodic lanes shifts to alternate travel patterns to distribute wear, which is a totally new function that would require the proper width, road base, planned adjustments for an entire road system to allow the distribution of wear, which is a complete new road system that provides a method to control wear.

The present invention would utilize 100% more of the road surface by regularly periodically alternating travel patterns, rather than driving over the same wheel position until the road fails to go far beyond prior art practices of adding a new 12 foot lane or diverting traffic due to construction, which has likely been caused by permanent lane roads which concentrates wear.

The Extended Life Road System‰ of the present invention is a road system with roads constructed and a method practiced for standard regular periodic traffic lane shift rotation, which allows the tires on motorist's vehicles to travel on a part of the road surface that has never been previously driven on with frequency, thereby allowing the weight to be distributed over at least twice the road surface as do the permanent lanes in the current road systems now being used. Therefore, roads and highways would require far less repair, reducing construction cost, while reducing the impact on local business, and also reducing death, injury and property damage caused by such construction.

The Extended Life Road System‰ can be accomplished by adding no more than 36″ of pavement to the width of each side of the road. And periodically moving the paint line over +−36″ to distribute the weight. 36″ is the maximum width needed for each side of the highway, regardless of number of traffic lanes.

Anywhere the Extended Life Road System‰ can be used, on county roads and state highways, an interstate highways, it will substantially reduce road repair and the delays and the accidents, deaths, injuries and property damage that is normally caused by such construction.

After the necessary widening of the highway, moving the lanes for extended road life requires the simple procedure of the removal of the painted lines and the painting of new lines on the roadway. This could be done at night when the traffic is light using a series of line removal equipment and paint trucks that are currently used in road construction and repair.

For city, state and county roadways with the two-way standard roadway system without a barrier divider, each traffic lane could be widened 18 inches (+/− depending on the specific roadway) but not more than 36 inches on each side for roadways that have a center divider.

The added width will depend on the specific highway as some highways may already have enough or nearly enough width to apply this new Extended Life Road System‰ where little or no widening would be required.

The Extended Life Road System™ of the present invention could reduce rutting and the need for frequent resurfacing and would minimize construction and delay that could save thousands of death and injury accidents every-year and could save billions each-year in auto claims and economic, therefore this new road system can not be considered an obvious conclusion.

The system and method of the present invention would provide twice the wear zone for a fraction of the cost and this would strengthen our nation's economy and help keep America strong far into the future.

Wear management of road surfaces by the system and method of the present invention reduces cost and provides safer roadways. It is the same reason why motorists rotate their tires. The more often we rotate our tires the longer they will last because this practice helps distribute the wear. Distributing wear reduces our cost and provides us with a safer ride. A wear management system and method practiced on roadways by the present invention saves costs and downtime by extending road life and saves lives and injury by providing safer roadways.

There are no references to any prior art related to extending the life of roads by providing an extra roadway width extension equal to a partial lane to provide a method of regular periodic partial lane shifts to spread wear over the entire roadway surface and extend the life of the roadway before roadway replacement is necessary and alternating the travel positions to distribute the wear to reduce the cost and increase the safety of roads.

Alternating travel patterns or wear adjustments according to the present invention allows the weight and wear of traffic to be distributed over the entire lane lengthening the life of all lanes so that highways, roads and streets would last longer, cost less and be safer to travel.

The present invention provides a complete new road system that changes permanent lane roads into roads that will accommodate planned lane adjustments to alternate the wear pattern to extend the life of our roads and reduce the risks caused by rutting and other adverse conditions caused by permanent lane roads. The roadway wear management of the present invention by alternating traffic patterns reduces the costly and dangerous practice of driving over the same wheel position until the road fails

In the present invention roadways are constructed with an additional partial lane width added to the side of the required travel lanes to accommodate regular periodic lanes shifts to alternate travel patterns to distribute wear, which is a totally new function that would require the proper width, road base, planned adjustments for an entire road system to allow the distribution of wear, which is a complete new road system that provides a method to control wear. On existing roadways a three foot lateral extension can be added when the roadway is being resurfaced.

The present invention would utilize 100% more of the road surface by regularly periodically alternating travel patterns,

Another method of adjustments of the present invention that can be used in cites is to move the center line and adjusting bike paths from one side to the other and alternating parking areas from on side of the street to the other.

The present invention saves the cost of roads and greatly reduces the impact caused to business and their communities due to the true cost of resurfacing which causes traffic delays so that a single construction project can easily cost a local economy more than two million dollars per day in lost revenue and many businesses do not survive this loss.

An advantage of the present invention is that it extends the life of a roadway.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it reduces the need for roadway maintenance and repair.

An additional advantage of the present invention is that it reduces the frequency of resurfacing.

One more advantage of the present invention is that it saves time and money normally lost with roadway construction causing traffic delays.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a smoother, trouble-free roadway for an extended period of time, double or triple the usual time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of a prior art roadway having a standard width slightly greater than the actual travel lanes on the roadway;

FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of the present invention having a roadway which is slightly wider (preferably by 3 feet) than the standard prior art roadway of FIG. 1 and showing the travel lanes indicated by standard roadway lines and the strips of roadway normally traversed by the tires of the vehicles on the roadway;

FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view of the present invention having a roadway which is slightly wider (preferably by 3 feet) than the standard prior art roadway of FIG. 1 and showing the travel lanes moved over 3 feet to the right indicated by standard roadway lines and showing the new strips of roadway now traversed by the tires of the vehicles on the roadway with the travel lanes moved to the right.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a section of a prior art roadway 30 wherein the width of the roadway from the left edge 38L to the right edge 38R of the roadway is only sufficient to accommodate the designated number of lanes, in this case two, by a centerline 34 and two side lines 32 and 36.

In FIGS. 2 and 3, a roadway system of the present invention for extending the life of a roadway comprises providing a lateral extension 21 of roadway surface on a roadway creating an extra side surface along the length of the roadway, in this case shown adjacent to the right edge 28R but could also be adjacent to the left edge 28L or with some added to each side, so that an extended width roadway 20 is formed. The extended width roadway 20 has a set of first designated travel lanes, a centerline 24A and two side lines 22A and 26A, demarked on the extended roadway for a period of time with a first pair of strips 33A of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the two travel lanes, as seen in FIG. 2.

In FIG. 3, the set of designated travel lanes are shifted laterally on the extended roadway 20 after a period of time to create an alternate new set of second designated travel lanes, a new centerline 24B and two new side lines 22B and 26B, demarked on the extended roadway with a second pair of strips 33B of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the travel lanes, the second pair of strips 33B in FIG. 3 being different from the first pair of strips 33A in FIG. 2.

The extra side surface 21 is at least one fourth the width of one of the travel lanes thereby widening the roadway surface by an amount capable of enabling a shift of the lanes sufficiently great to cause the second pair of strips 33B, in FIG. 3, of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the travel lanes to be different from the first pair of strips 33A, in FIG. 2. The extra side surface is at least eighteen inches thereby widening the roadway surface by the eighteen inches and preferably the extra side surface is thirty-six inches, which could be added as 18 inches on each side.

The designated travel lanes may demarked on the extended roadway by having a coating, such as paint or adhesive strips or vinyl or other coating means, on the roadway visually different from the roadway itself so that the coating is clearly visible as roadway lines, 22A, 26A, 22B, and 26B, by motorists traveling on the roadway. When the set of designated travel lanes are shifted is position laterally on the extended roadway, as shown in FIG. 3, a means for covering the coating forming the first designated travel lanes demarked on the extended roadway is needed which may be a tar-based coating or other means making the coating visually indistinguishable from the roadway. Alternately the coating an the first designated travel lanes may be removed roadway by a means for removing it such as a burning means or scraping means or chemical means or other removing means.

Alternately, the designated travel lanes may be demarked on the extended roadway by imbedding a series of marking means, such as a series of reflectors or reflective strips, on the roadway visually different from the roadway itself so that the series of marking means is clearly visible as roadway lines by motorists traveling on the roadway, the series of marking means being capable of being removed when the set of designated travel lanes are shifted in position laterally on the extended roadway 20.

In practice, a method for extending the life of a roadway comprises:

a first step of adding a lateral extension 21 of roadway surface on a roadway creating an extra side surface along the length of the roadway, so that an extended width roadway 20 is formed, as seen in FIG. 2, the extended width roadway 21 having a set of first designated travel lanes demarked by roadway lines 22A, 24A, and 26A on the extended roadway for a period of time with a first pair of strips 33A of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the travel lanes, and

a second step of shifting the position of the set of designated travel lanes laterally on the extended roadway 20 after a period of time to create an alternate new set of second designated travel lanes demarked by roadway lines 22B, 24Band 26B on the extended roadway 20, as seen in FIG. 3, with a second pair of strips 33B of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the travel lanes, the second pair of strips 33B in FIG. 3 being different from the first pair of strips 33A in FIG. 2.

The method comprises adding the extra side surface having a width at least one fourth the width of one of the travel lanes thereby widening the roadway surface by an amount capable of enabling a shift of the lanes sufficiently great to cause the second pair of strips 33B, in FIG. 3, of the roadway surface normally bearing the wheels of a line of vehicles in each of the travel lanes to be different from the first pair of strips,33a, in FIG. 2, wherein the extra side surface is at least eighteen inches and preferably thirty-six inches and could be added to either side or have a portion added to each side.

The method further comprising the step of placing a coating, such as paint or vinyl, or other coating means, on the roadway to demark the designated travel lanes on the extended roadway, the coating being visually different from the roadway itself so that the coating is clearly visible as roadway lines by motorists traveling on the roadway and when the set of designated travel lanes are shifted laterally on the extended roadway the step of covering the coating with a means, such as a road tar-based coating or other covering means, for covering the coating of the first designated travel lanes demarked on the extended roadway or alternately, the step of removing the coating with a means, such as a burning means or scraping means or other removing means, for removing the coating.

Alternately, the method further comprising the step of imbedding a series of marking means, such as reflectors or reflective strips, in the roadway for demarking the designated travel lanes on the extended roadway, the series of marking means on the roadway being visually different from the roadway itself so that the series of marking means is clearly visible as roadway lines by motorists traveling on the roadway, and, when the set of designated travel lanes are shifted laterally on the extended roadway, the step of removing the series of marking means with a means for removing the series of marking means from the first designated travel.

The second set of roadway lines, 22B, 24B, and 26B may be added in a similar fashion to the first or use other variations.

In use, the roadway wear management system and method of the present invention requires the use of removable paints for lane adjustments and 3-feet of added road width, this can be accomplished by using just 8-inches of each shoulder on many freeways or by moving the centerline on many streets. Over all, the entire lane could then be utilized for wear, reducing the hazardous conditions caused by today's high volume of traffic and permanent lanes.

Unlike lane closures that are necessary when roads are repaired, the job of “adjusting lanes” can be planned when it is the least disruptive to motorists. Then, instead of refreshing paint lines each year, the paint lines are removed and adjusted to utilize the unworn surface areas. This would provide twice the surface area that is currently being used, which in turn would eliminate rutting, reduce potholes and the other costly hazards of concentrated wear.

When shoulders are used to attain the 3-feet required for lane adjustments, shoulders will need a road base. The fog line is started 8-inches into the paved shoulder, which would provide a total of 18-inches. (4-inch paint line+6-inch width from the fog line to the shoulder+the 8-inch move into the shoulder=18-inches) When the lanes are shifted 8-inches into the opposite shoulder, this would be a 3-foot lateral shift, the width needed to utilize the unworn surface located between the wheel paths shown above.

The width lost on one shoulder is gained on the opposite shoulder. When 3-feet is added to the width of any road, it will provide additional shoulder width for construction workers, police and emergency vehicles. When accidents do occur, the shoulders would provide extra room to remove vehicles from the roadway. This would also help reduce delays.

The following year after the first 3-foot lateral shift, the lanes are shifted back 1.5-feet between the first and second year zones to keep the wear even. The fourth year the lanes are shifted back to the original position.

Bridges too narrow to safely accommodate lane adjustments would require lanes to gradually conform to the bridge width. However, any adjustment would help extend the life of the road.

Road Engineers would decide which shoulders require a road base and which roads need additional width.

City roads and streets the same application can be applied by using removable paints or by adjusting the centerline. Streets too narrow to accommodate parking on both sides, lanes may still be adjusted by alternating the parking from one side to the other and on these streets it may not require annual adjustments.

City Managers and their Road Department would decide which roads and streets need what application and when they should be necessitated, which should always be before rutting occurs.

One pattern of shifting lanes comprises an extended life roadway wear management plan as follows:

  • 1st Year: Use removable paint to designate lanes and fog lines.
  • 2nd Year: 1st adjustment by shifting 3 feet in a lateral direction.
  • 3rd Year: 2nd Adjustment by adjusting the lanes back 1.5 feet to stagger the wear between the 1st and 2nd year.
  • 4th Year: 3rd Adjustment by adjusting the lanes back to original starting position and repeat the following year, or as needed.

The 3 feet lateral extension may be added to existing roads when roads are scheduled to be resurfaced.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.