Sinusoidal Rumble Strip Design Optimization Study

Sinusoidal DesignsStatus:  Complete
Report Date:  07/13/2016


This Sinusoidal Rumble Strip Design Optimization Study presents results of sound level monitoring of four types of centerline rumble strips installed along Trunk Highway (TH) 18 in Mille Lacs and Aitken counties in Minnesota. This study is in response to objections raised by some landowners about the unwanted noise caused by vehicles traveling over rumble strips when they drift over the edge or centerline of the roadway. By changing and modifying the design, the ultimate goal is to provide the maximum safety by capturing the driver's attention through in-vehicle generated sound levels while minimizing the associated external noise generated by the rumble strips. Tests on TH 18 were performed with three different vehicles -- passenger car, pickup truck and a class 35 tandem dump truck. A single speed of 60 mph was used, as this was shown to provide the most meaningful data in the previous study. For each of the designs, an initial test was performed with vehicles traveling on normal pavement, followed by three passes on the rumble strip. Rumble strip designs 1 and 4 created lower exterior sound level increases but created interior levels similar to designs 2 and 3. The external results correspond to the depth of the rumble strip design, with designs 1 and 4 having a maximum depth of 1/8 inch less than designs 2 and 3. The interior sound level increases are similar for all four designs but vary by vehicle type. All of the designs created increases greater than 10 dBA for the passenger car, which is a desirable level for gaining attention of the driver. For the pickup truck, the interior sound level increases ranged from 4.5 to 6.8 dBA, while the increases for the dump truck ranged from 0.8 to 2.7 dBA.

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