Seasonal road striping operations underway, so watch out for slow-moving paint crews

MoDOT painting lines on roads and highways

Road striping operations are in progress throughout the state and the Missouri Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use caution when encountering work crews. Drivers may come upon slow-moving caravans of trucks refreshing the lines on the roadway at various locations in the state through August.

“Stripes are refreshed periodically for the safety of all who travel Missouri roadways,” said State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. “We’re asking you to help assure the safety of our workers by paying attention to the road and not driving distracted. Buckle Up Phone Down.”

Striping crews must travel slowly as they paint roadway markings to ensure a good quality line. The striping trains consist of three to five vehicles and can stretch over one-half mile while moving 8 to 12 mph. The trucks have flashing lights, boards with flashing arrows, and signs that say, “SLOW VEHICLES” and “WET PAINT.”

Crisp, easy-to-see striping is a significant safety feature on roadways. MoDOT uses paint embedded with glass beads. The beads reflect headlight beams back in the direction of the motorist to make the stripes more visible, especially at night, on wet roads, or in low light conditions.

Most of the striping is done during daylight hours. However, it is not uncommon to see crews working at night on interstate highways and other high-volume divided highways. Rain or very damp conditions will cancel or cut short any striping work that is scheduled.

Safety Tips

  • Be patient if you come across MoDOT crews and give them the space to do their job safely.
  • Slow down as soon as you see the lights and signs and keep your distance until it is safe to go around the trucks.      
  • On four-lane divided highways, pull around the striping train by merging carefully into the open lane, passing all the trucks in the train before moving back into the driving lane.
  • On two-lane highways, stay behind the last truck in the striping train. This vehicle is placed well behind the striping truck to give the new paint the few minutes it needs to dry. MoDOT crews will pull off the road where it is safe to do so to let congestion clear.
  • MoDOT uses water-based paint in all its highway operations. If you drive through wet paint, clean your car as quickly as possible with a high-powered water hose, such as those used in car washes.

Scheduled striping operations are posted on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at traveler.modot.org.  The map is also available as a free app for Apple and Android devices.