The reflectors that are supposed to help keep drivers on the road were scraped up along with snow and ice.
WRAL found the most along Highway 70 near Interstate 40 just outside Garner.
"We need to come up with a better process then, because if those are in the road I guess they're there to help us see better and if they're dug up by the snow plows that's a problem," driver Theresa White said.
"It's wasting our taxpayer dollars," driver Kevin West said. "They cost $3 a pop. Tax season is coming up and that doesn't make sense."
The state Department Of Transportation confirms glued-on reflectors cost $3 each. On a three-lane highway like Interstate 40, it costs $600 a mile to replace them.
Recessed metal reflectors, which are supposed to be snowplow-proof, are more than eight times the cost of the glue-on variety. The DOT said it is less expensive to plow up and replace the glue-on reflectors than to install metal reflectors.
Some have suggested the DOT plow around the reflectors.
"Well, yes, I can leave that ridge of snow laying in the middle of the road," DOT engineer Jerry Linder said. "Others have said can you use rubber blades, but they don't clean the snow off as well."
DOT engineers said they will not know the total price tag until all the reflectors are replaced in the spring; however, $600 a mile can add up along with the cost to safety.
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