Title:
SNOWPLOWABLE ROAD MARKER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved casting for a road marker having a reflector and a method of installation for the road marker are disclosed. The method of installation includes forming a groove that has a rectangular geometry when view from above and is longitudinal oriented parallel to the direction of the road. The groove can also have a deeper section at the center with the same geometry of the groove but with a bigger radius to receive one or more legs from the road marker of the present invention.



Inventors:
De Jesús, Chavarria Marroquín Daniel (San Nicolas De Los Garza, MX)
Farias, Yadhira Cruz (Veracruz, MX)
Damián, Amaya González Sergio (Monterrey, MX)
Application Number:
13/572148
Publication Date:
08/08/2013
Filing Date:
08/10/2012
Assignee:
Tecknotraffic Inc. (Houston, TX, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
404/75
International Classes:
E01F9/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHU, KATHERINE J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A base for a snowplowable roader marker for securing a reflector and having a longitudinal axis, the base comprising: a top surface; a bottom surface; at least one leg extending outwardly from the bottom surface, the at least one leg being perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the base.

2. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 1 wherein the one or more legs comprise a center leg and a plurality of transverse legs.

3. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 2 wherein the center leg extends further from the base than the transverse legs.

4. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 2 wherein the transverse legs and center leg are connected at the bottom surface by a flange, the flange being perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the base.

5. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 4 wherein the transverse legs and center leg extend from the flange in a radial manner.

6. The base for a snowplowable road maker of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of tabs, the tabs extending from a perimeter of the base; wherein the tabs rest on top of the road to which the maker is to be installed.

7. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 1 wherein the top surface has a pair of rails running outside an area in which the reflector can be installed.

8. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 7 wherein the rails are wider near an end of the base and increasingly narrow towards a middle of the base.

9. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 8 wherein the bottom surface has a plurality of recesses, the recesses being deeper under the rails of the top surface.

10. The base for a snowplowable road marker of claim 1 wherein the bottom surface has a generally arcuate shape, with the curve of the arcuate shape being normal to the longitudinal axis of the base.

11. A method for installing a marker in a road surface, the method comprising: providing a road surface, a road marker, and an adhesive; cutting a longitudinal groove in the road surface, the groove having a longitudinal axis running parallel to a direction of travel of the road surface; cutting a center groove in the longitudinal groove, the center groove extending deeper in the road surface than the longitudinal groove, the center groove having a longitudinal axis parallel to the direction of travel of the road surface; attaching the road marker to the road surface in the longitudinal groove and center groove with the adhesive.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the longitudinal groove and the center groove are cut as part of a single operation.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the longitudinal groove and the center groove have an arcuate cross sectional profile, the profile being perpendicular to the direction of travel of the road surface.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein the longitudinal groove is approximately 2 centimeters deep.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein the center groove is approximately 4 centimeters deep.

16. The method of claim 11 wherein the center groove is twice as deep as the longitudinal groove.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/522,894 filed Aug. 12, 2011, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to help delineate lanes on a road with the use of markers having retro reflective lenses. The lenses reflect light from a vehicle's headlights. Typically the markers are adhered to the road top with an adhesive such as bituminous. In areas where snowplows are used to remove snow from the road, it is known to mount the marker in a metal casting which in turn is mounted into a recess in the road surface. The casting has rails which extend above the marker on either side of the reflector to lift the snowplow blade over the road marker and prevents the marker from being dislodged from the road. The recess can be a groove which is formed in the road with an abrasive wheel. The groove generally has a rectangular geometry and is longitudinally oriented parallel to the direction of the road. The cross section of the groove, defined by a view normal to a cut plane normal to the road and parallel to the direction of travel on the road, is a convex arc which is closed at its ends by surfaces that are normal to the road surfaces. In some cases, castings have been dislodged from the road by the passing of a snowplow blade. In prior devices, when a casting is pushed by a snowplow blade, the curved bottom of the groove does not offer resistance to the forces of the snowplow and slides from the groove, thereby detaching the casting from the road surface.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An improved casting for a road marker having a reflector and a method of installation for the road marker are disclosed. The method of installation includes forming a groove that has a rectangular geometry when view from above and is longitudinal oriented parallel to the direction of the road. The cross section of the groove, defined by a view normal to an imaginary cut plane normal to the road and normal to the direction of travel of the road is an arc having the convexity at the bottom and closed its ends by a straight line that is coplanar to the road surface offering thus perpendicular planes to the direction of the road in the groove. The groove can also have a deeper section at the center with the same geometry of the groove but with a bigger radius to receive one or more legs from the road marker of the present invention. The legs can increase the mechanical anchoring and reaction forces which oppose the force of the snowplow blade. As set forth more fully below, the longitudinal groove extends axially between a pair of vertically disposed ends. The road marker casting can have an arcuate surface which extends between a pair of end surfaces. The end surfaces of the casting abut the ends of the groove formed in the road to assist in preventing a snowplow blade or tire of a passing vehicle from dislodging the casting. The center groove is deeper than the longitudinal groove and is formed to accept the legs from the casting. The method reduces the likelihood of dislodgement of the casting from the road.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the top of an embodiment of a road marker of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the side of an embodiment of the road marker of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the bottom of an embodiment of the road marker of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a longitudinal groove having a center groove; and

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a longitudinal groove having a center groove in a road surface.

FIG. 5A shows a perspective view close up of a portion of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 show a perspective view of the road marker installed in the road surface.

FIG. 7 shows a elevational view of a cross section of the road marker installed in the road surface of claim 6.

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of a grinding tool for forming the longitudinal and center grooves.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of a road marker 20 for use with a method of installation of the present invention, the road marker 20 can include a reflector 25 and a base 30. The base 30 can have a generally rectangular profile when viewed from above and a generally arcuate bottom surface. The base 30 may be formed as a casting of metal or molded from a synthetic material. The base 30 has a longitudinal axis which is aligned with the longitudinal axis of a road 115. The top of the base 30 has a center portion which extends longitudinally between a pair of rails 45. The rails 45 are somewhat C-shaped and are wider at the ends and become increasingly narrow towards the middle of the marker 20. The rails 45 rise upwardly from the ends to the middle to form a ramp to lift the snowplow blade above the road marker 20. One or more tabs 35 extend outwardly from each rail 45 at the perimeter of the base 30. The tabs 35 have a flat bottom surface 80 which is designed to rest on the top of a surface of the road 115. When viewed from above, the base 30 has two trapezoidal depressions 50 to receive excess adhesive that may rise when the base 30 is pushed down into the adhesive.

As shown in FIG. 2, each end of the center portion has a first planar portion extending and angled slightly upwardly to a second planar portion 40 which angles downwardly to a center recess 75. The center recess 75 is formed to receive most conventional road reflectors 25. In the preferred embodiment the reflector 25 is a cube corner retro reflective marker. A pair of notches 77 are formed in the second planar portion 40 of the center surface adjacent the center recess 75 for insertion of a tool to remove the reflector 25 if the reflector 25 needs replacing. The reflector 25 may be mounted within the recess 75 using an adhesive or double-sided tape or any other method known to those skilled in the art.

As shown in FIG. 3, the base 30 has a generally arcuate lower surface which extends between a pair of vertical end surfaces 60. The lower surface has an axis of curvature which extends parallel with the longitudinal axis L of the marker 20 and the road surface 115. The bottom surface also has a series of recesses 85 which can be generally triangular in shape and are formed to receive adhesive. The recesses 85 can be formed deeper under the rails to reduce the amount of material and intercommunicate mechanical stresses and offer a more rugged contact surface to the adhesive to increase the mechanical anchoring profile. A flange 90 extends transversely outwardly across the center of the bottom of the base 30, normal to the longitudinal axis L of the marker 20. Transverse legs 65 and a center leg 70 extend outwardly in a radial direction from the flange 90. The shape of the bottom surface assists the flange 90 and legs 65, 70 in resisting torque to assist in maintaining the attachment of the base 30 to the road surface 115. It is appreciated that the flange 90 can be extended to create a single leg spanning the entire with of the base. The abutment of the end surfaces 60 of the base 30 against the ends 110 of the longitudinal groove 100 assists in resisting longitudinal displacement of the base 30. The bottom of the base 30 can have intercommunicating channels 95 that allow the adhesive to flow between the recesses 85, and reduce air bubbles to improve the adherence of the base 30 to the road 115 in the longitudinal groove 100.

Turning now to FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the method of installation of the preferred embodiment includes forming a shallow longitudinal groove 100 in the road surface 115 and a center groove 105 which can extend coaxially through the center of the longitudinal groove 100 to a greater depth than the depth of the longitudinal groove 100. A longitudinal axis A of the longitudinal groove 100 and the center groove 105 can be parallel to a direction of travel D of the road surface 115. The longitudinal groove 100 and the center groove 105 can be formed with a grinder or circular saw having the appropriate blade, or by any other method known to those skilled in the art. The longitudinal groove 100 can be generally arcuate and extend between a pair of ends which extend radially up to the top of the road surface 115. The longitudinal groove 100 can be approximately 2 centimeters deep, 24 centimeters long, and 17 centimeters wide. The center groove 105 can be approximately 4 centimeters deep. The center groove 105 is formed to receive the legs 65, 70 and flange 90 of the base 30. The longitudinal groove 100 and center groove 105 may be formed by using a grinding wheel having a radius which is approximately 18″ and a center grinding portion which extends out from the main wheel and has a radius of approximately 20″. Both the center groove 105 and the longitudinal groove 100 can be cut in the same operation. Adhesive such as bituminous is spread in the grooves 100, 105 and the base 30 can then placed in the grooves 100, 105 with the tabs 35 resting on the surrounding road surface 115.

FIGS. 6 and 7 shows the road marker 20 installed in the road surface 115. The cross sectional view in FIG. 7 clearly displays the arcuate bottom surface of the base 30 sitting in the longitudinal groove 100, with the end surface 60 abutting the groove end 110. The center leg 70 can also be clearly seen fitting into the center groove 105.

FIG. 8 shows a grinding tool 120 for creating the longitudinal groove 100 and the center grove 105 in a single operation. The grinding tool 120 has a large diameter grinding portion 140 and with small diameter grinding portions 130 disposed on each side. The large diameter grinding portion 140 cuts the center groove 105, and the small diameter portions cut the longitudinal groove 100. It is appreciated that selecting the appropriate radius for the large diameter grinding portion and the small diameter grinding portion enables the profile of the longitudinal groove and center groove to match the profile of the bottom surface of the base 30 and the legs 65 70, thus providing a secure adhesion of the base 30 to the road surface 115.

Thus, is disclosed is a novel snowplowable marker and method of operation. The marker is mounted to resist displacement from the road surface.

The foregoing description is illustrative of particular embodiments of the invention, but is not meant to be a limitation upon the practice thereof. The following claims, including all equivalents thereof, are intended to define the scope of the invention.