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Lane Reflectors Become Casualties Of Winter Storm Aftermath

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RALEIGH — Digging out from the big snow storm was a long and expensive process. Now, more costly reminders of the storm are popping up as the snow and ice melt away.

The good news is most roads in the Triangle are clear and dry. The bad news is most of the safety reflectors, which help drivers see lanes and road boundaries, are gone.

The reflectors were no match for the snowplows and all the snow they had to move. DOT maintenance engineers say they had to worry about the snow first, and what was beneath it, later.

"We knew when we went out there, they were going to come off, and we knew we would have to replace them," said Jerry Linder, DOT Maintenance Engineer.

TheDepartment of Transportationhad $150,000 budgeted to replace the reflectors. However, the bill after plowing will probably top $300,000, twice the amount set aside in Wake County alone. There are no estimates yet on the statewide cost.

There are other nagging costs popping up after the big melt.

In many places, the rumble strips are damaged. The noise and vibrations they make can wake up a drowsy driver, or help keep drivers in their lanes. Now, many rumble strips have been shaved to the pavement.

Lane markings on many roadways were also scraped off into the snowdrifts along with the reflectors.

"It's a never ending process whenever you have anything like this," Linder said. "It's always a constant thing. Maintenance never ends whether it's summer, winter, fall, whatever it is, it's a never stop type process."

The process of replacing the reflectors may not get started until spring or summer.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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