What are those black rubber spikes in the roadway?

Black “rubber spikes” are placed in the roadway to identify utility covers during paving. They are pliable and safe to drive over.

With all the road construction around town recently, there has been concern among motorists about so-called black “spikes” placed in the roadway that are causing drivers to swerve around them. 

These “spikes” are harmless, pliable, rubber I.D. locators that help construction crews locate manhole covers and water valve boxes in the roadway.  The locators are placed prior to paving so crews know where to find them after the asphalt is placed.  The utility covers are then jackhammered out and raised to the new road elevation and the rubber locators are removed.

In the past, crews would paint circles to identify the utility covers but this method proved less successful than the rubber locators as the wear from vehicles caused the identifying paint to fade and disappear.  Also, when paving at night it is hard to keep track of the manholes, so a method that can be applied prior to paving is the most failsafe.

So next time you see these rubber spikes on a newly resurfaced street, don’t worry.  They are soft and pliable so it’s safe to drive over them!

What about you?  Have you seen these around town?  Did you know what they were before reading this?  Let us know!

This entry was posted in Construction, Education and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What are those black rubber spikes in the roadway?

  1. I didn’t know what these rubber things were for. I knew they were harmless but a few days ago a car behind me made a very dangerous driving to avoid them and we almost have an accident.

    • bellevuentss says:

      Help us get the word out by letting people know that these are harmless and that you can drive right over them! We’re trying to educate folks so accidents can hopefully be avoided.

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