WAKE COUNTY — There is an unsightly mess along the shoulder of Interstate 40. To many drivers, it looks like some type of yellow, fluorescent mulch.
TheDepartment of Transportationsays the yellow chips are one more ugly leftover from the big snowstorm.
"The down pressure we had to put on some of those areas, to get the snow and stuff off, and the amount of snow we had, naturally it takes it off just like some of the markers," says Jerry Linder, DOT Maintenance Engineer.
Snow plows shaved off the tips of a thermoplastic paint strip called Vibra-Line.
"I thought they would have held," Linder says. "This is the first time we used them. I thought they would have held up a little better than that, but they didn't."
Drivers who stray from lane markings hear a noise and feel a vibration from the safety strips. Now, most of the raised portions of the strip are piled by the roadside.
The fluorescent, yellow chips vary greatly in size with the heaviest concentration located between Wade and Harrison avenues.
Linder says the chips do not contain any toxins or anything hazardous.
The DOT says the mess has to be cleaned up, but other projects -- like repairing potholes -- are higher on its priority list.
DOT maintenance engineers are not sure whether they will vacuum, sweep or shovel the chips. No matter how they remove them, the safety of crews working so close to I-40 traffic is a big concern.