Colorado’s Rules on Temporary Pavement Markings in Work Zones


The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) enforces specific safety requirements for temporary pavement markings in road work zones. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in fines, increase your financial liability for accidents and injuries, and cause other preventable issues. Fortunately, the experienced pavement marking technicians at American Striping are highly knowledgeable about Colorado’s rules for temporary road markings in construction zones, and can make sure that you are in total compliance with CDOT regulations.

CDOT Safety Regulations for Temporary Pavement Markings in Colorado Work Zones

Colorado’s guidelines for temporary pavement markings in road work zones can be found in several safety guides published by CDOT, such as the Colorado Work Zone Best Practices Safety Guide and the Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Municipalities, Utilities and Contractors. Together, these and other publications establish clear rules and standards for temporary markings in road construction zones.

When you hire American Striping to handle your highway construction pavement marking project in Colorado, you can expect quality work using durable materials for a finished product that fully complies with CDOT safety standards. However, while our road striping business will take care of handling all compliance-related issues for you, you might wish to learn about what to expect from the process.

To help give you a clearer idea of the rules and standards that must be adhered to, our pavement marking specialists have compiled some key points from CDOT’s safety manuals. Below are just a few examples.

  • Temporary pavement markings must follow the same color rules as permanent pavement markings. These rules are as follows:

    • White – According to CDOT, “White is specified along both sides of two-way roadways and the right side of one-way roadways.”

    • Yellow – Under CDOT rules, “Yellow is used on the left side of one-way roadways.”

    • Variable – White or yellow might be appropriate depending on the flow of traffic. To quote CDOT, “Centerlines and lane lines are yellow when separating opposing directions of traffic and white when separating lanes of the same direction.”

  • In a situation where the old pavement markings would conflict with the temporary redirection of traffic, it’s necessary to use traffic signs and channelizing devices to help motorists figure out where they should (and shouldn’t) drive. In addition to providing you with temporary pavement marking services, American Striping can also supply your project with a wide range of channelizers, traffic stands, traffic signs, and sign posts for projects of every size and budget.

  • In a road work scenario where there is a lane closure on a two-lane road using traffic control signals, temporary road markings need to be completely removed once the temporary traffic control signal has been removed. Likewise, any permanent pavement markings will need to be restored. Whether your project requires temporary road markings, permanent road markings, or both, American Striping delivers speedy yet polished results for improved safety and increased efficiency.

  • In a scenario where (1) there is a road closure with a diversion, and (2) the new, temporary pavement and old, permanent pavement are different colors, CDOT notes that “the temporary pavement should start on the tangent of the existing pavement and end on the tangent of the existing pavement.”

As part of its road work guidelines, CDOT even provides a Sample Work Zone Inspection Quality Assurance Form, which includes criteria for pavement markings. For example, quality inspectors will look for checklist items like the following:

  • Are there “effective pavement markings,” such as edge lines, lane lines, and a clear centerline?

  • Are there “interim markings in place on [the] new pavement”?

  • If needed, are pavement connections in place properly?

  • Have the pavement markings been restored on milled pavement?

  • Are there sufficient markings to indicate pavement edge drop-offs (which should, CDOT notes, be “minimized”)?

Colorado Pavement Marking Company for Road and Highway Construction

As you can see, CDOT imposes nuanced, sometimes complicated rules for temporary pavement markings, permanent pavement markings, traffic signs, traffic barriers, channelizers, and other safety features in road work zones. But don’t worry: equipped with more than 60 years of combined industry experience, the skilled team of pavement marking experts at American Striping has the scheduling flexibility, the cutting-edge equipment, and the regulatory knowledge to ensure that your project gets done right.

Serving all of Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, and other municipalities, we offer a wide range of products and services for long-term and short-term road work projects on highways, city streets, suburban streets, rural roads, and more, including:

  • Temporary Pavement Markings

  • Permanent Pavement Markings

  • Reflective Pavement Markings

  • Raised Pavement Markings

  • Recessed Pavement Markings

  • Pavement Marking Removal

  • Flagging and Traffic Control

  • Channelizer and Traffic Sign Installation

  • Traffic Device and Crash Attenuator Installation

To learn more about the products and services we offer, or to get a free estimate on your project, contact us online or call (303) 495-5950 today.