Roads and Bridges Article

This page contains the full text of the FIELD TRIALS article, which appeared in the September 1995 issue of Roads and Bridges Magazine. COTE-L's DURABAKTM Safety Coatings and SAFTI-TRAXTM Detectable Warning System are featured. An image file of the actual article can be found at the bottom of this page.


Edited by Larry Flynn

NJDOT moves toward ADA compliance
with curb ramp surface system tests

With the introduction of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1991, and subsequent rulings since then, several issues have emerged that now face the nation's DOTs and local municipalities. These issues are related to the treatment of curb ramp surfaces which lead from pedestrian walking areas into vehicular trafficked areas and are concerned with the safety of blind and vision-impaired individuals.

The ADA mandate for curb ramps contains two basic requirements:

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) conducted field testing on a number of different detectable warning systems, including Safti-Trax, which was developed and manufactured by COTE-L Industries, Inc., in New Jersey, The test variables included the degree of detectability by blind and visually impaired subjects, the effect of adverse weather conditions on domed surface, and the ease of application.

Durabak being applied
Field testing of the truncated dome product was
completed by the New Jersey DOT in 1994.

Results showed that the company's product performed in a superior manner. In its assessment of the system at the time the filed testing was completed in February 1994, NJDOT had found no other truncated dome product as resilient and as easy to customize and install to each location.

The product is an applied detectable warning system with two components:

The coating comes in various colors, including black, gray, red, green, blue, light grey, light blue, light brown, safety yellow, safety orange, and white. It bonds to itself and is thus easily repairable. The resiliency of the domes, together with that of the polyurethane coating, combine to produce an overall resiliency that is designed to make it "easier on the feet and easier to detect."

In the field test conducted by NJDOT, the product was installed in two separate locations. To install the system, the surface of the concrete ramp was first thoroughly cleaned. Then, an initial coating of polyurethane coating was applied, using a special stipple roller. Next, the plastic sheet with the domes attached were laid in place, with the bottom of the domes resting in the wet coating. After the surface had set (within a few hours), the plastic sheet was peeled off, leaving the domes attached to the coating. The domes were then sealed in permanently with three additional coats of polyurethane coating.

The initial American with Disabilities Act ruling called for a detectable warning system of truncated domes in a specified matrix to be installed on curb ramps leading from pedestrian walking areas into vehicular trafficked areas. Some of the inherent problems that face the selection of an appropriate detectable warning system include: installation with the least obtrusive disturbance to the substrate; adaptability to surface irregularities; general ease of application; durability; and repairability.

NJDOT's field testing of the system was conducted over the harsh winter of 1994 and produced positive results. The DOT found that the system answered each of the above concerns.

The system as an applied product, can be retrofit over fully-cured concrete of other surfaces.

We Put Safety At Your Feet!

1542 Jefferson Street, Teaneck NJ 07666
Phone: 201-836-0733 Fax: 201-836-5220

© Copyrighted Scranton Gillette Communications, Reprinted with permission,
Roads & Bridges Magazine, September, 1995.

Edited by Larry Flynn from material contributed by COTE-L Industries, Inc.

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