Raleigh driver says unclear lane striping led to wreck in Fortify zone
Posted August 25, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Although lane reductions on Interstate 40 in the Fortify zone haven't resulted in massive delays, the construction area hasn't been free of problems.
Raleigh resident Jim Scarborough says confusing lane stripes caused him to get into an accident on the morning of Aug. 13.
Scarborough was driving east on I-40 near Lake Wheeler Road when he was involved in a wreck with a tractor-trailer.
"I was in the right lane, basically minding my own business, when I noticed an 18-wheeler's front wheel was chewing into the side of my car," he said.
Scarborough hit a guardrail before coming to a stop, but he wasn't injured. He says the old and new lane stripes in the work zone are still visible.
"The 18-wheeler saw one set of lane lines, I saw the other set, and it just didn't work out," he said.
Old lane striping is still visible in the middle of the right lane on I-40 East, but North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said that's not uncommon for a large highway project.
"It is a temporary pattern, so lane striping is not going to be as bright as, say, I-440," DOT engineer Amir Nezarati said.
Nezarati said it's nearly impossible for crews to cover all traces of old stripes when they shift highway lanes.
With the lanes in question scheduled to be torn up as crews rebuild the highway over the next year, Nezarati says DOT has no plans to make the striping clearer.
"Slow down, be aware of your surroundings, because the lane striping is not going to be as bright as permanent marking," he said.
Scarborough said he thinks extra reflectors and a bit more paint could make the work zone safer.
"They could do any number of things to improve the visibility of those lane lines, and they really need to do that right away," he said.
Nezarati says DOT inspects the work zone regularly and will correct issues as engineers deem necessary.
Scarborough's car was totaled in the wreck, and he said he's checking with his insurance company about seeking reimbursement from DOT. No charges were filed.