Colorfully Painted Road Ramps Assist Traction, Reduce Distraction

An innovative new highway overpass complex in Chongqing, China's Nan'an District sports sections of red- and green-painted pavement. While outwardly distracting, the changing colors of the non-slip paint help draw drivers' eyes away from the city's gorgeous mountain scenery and back to the road where they belong.    

Less Bangs For The Bucks

The snazzy streets are the most visually prominent part of Chongqing's latest transportation infrastructure project, though the cost is a very small fraction of the estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($190 million) budgeted.

Looking good is hardly the priority here, however. For one thing, the paint is both wear-resistant and imparts anti-slip properties to the pavement surface. The latter feature was surely designed for Chongqing's notoriously rainy, foggy and humid climate.  

Driven To Be Creative

A second factor influencing the “cosmetics” of the overpass's design is the geography of Chongqing itself. Located in southwestern China just to the east of Sichuan province, the Municipality of Chongqing city has a population of roughly 30 million with about half living in the urbanized central area.

Situated between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Yangtze River valley, the municipality sits above an easily eroded Karst limestone landscape cut by numerous rivers, streams and creeks. The region as a whole is thus anything but flat, forcing road contractors to exercise creativity and drivers to pay close attention to the road ahead!  

Ramping Up For Greater Safety

As these images from illustrate, the painted overpass pavement is obvious only from above (presumably via camera-equipped drones) or by drivers on the road itself. It's one of several Chinese transportation infrastructure projects that use changing colors to draw drivers' eyes to the road and away from other distractions.

Between Chongqing's dynamic skyline and dramatic landscape, drivers do indeed have much to distract them. Add in the need for extra vigilance during inclement weather and one can understand why city transportation authorities have embraced this unorthodox remedy. (via