LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is replacing its current road stripe technology and using the savings to double the number of pavement striping crews.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ) reports that the new road stripes will be wider and will use more material to make it brighter and easier to see than the regular paint striping material crews use now. Bigger trucks on the road tended to scrape up the expensive tape during snow and ice removal, causing a budget problem.

The new retroreflectivity material is not only brighter, but cheaper as well. Studies reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration show the wider stripes to be especially beneficial on rural highways.

The department now spends about $7 million annually on tape, whereas equipping and staffing six additional pavement striping crews will costs about $4 million annually. The change is reflected in the budget for the next two years.

The Federal Highway Administration also has suggested wider pavement markings as a low-cost tool to aid older drivers ages 65 and older.

Commission member Tom Schueck, 75, is a big supporter of the project.

“That’s great,” Schueck said. “As an elderly driver that drives at night, I want to tell you I appreciate that.”

The number of crews will be increased from six to 12, which will allow the agency to restripe all 16,000 miles of state highways every two years instead of every four years.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,