Missing Lane Reflectors on I-85

CHARLOTTE – I-85 is a part of millions of people’s daily commute in Charlotte. While the commute is usually easy,  lane visibility may be hard for you if it’s dark or raining. That’s because a portion of interstate 85 between Brookshire Boulevard and Exit 42 is missing the small white reflectors in between the lane markers.

I asked WCCB viewers on Facebook if this has ever been an issue for them during their commute when it’s night time or storming. “Absolutely” was the response. 

Jen Thompson, a spokesperson for NCDOT shared with me the reason why those reflectors are not in place on one of the busiest areas in Charlotte is because that area is being resurfaced.

“Right now because we’re in winter, we’re in a period called seasonal limitations,” Thompson says. “So that kind of starts around November, December and continues into March.”

Thompsons says “To do the type of work that people are asking about with the with the markings and markers, we need temperatures on the pavement to be between 45-50 degrees. Plus, the volume on 85 makes it even harder for day time work, which means warm temps are needed for overnight paving.’

Of course the time line of the project is also a big question.

“Hopefully later this spring, the next few months, we’ll start to see them get back out there and you’ll see that happening at night,” says Thompson. “It’s because there’s just so much traffic on 85 and that’s safer for everybody involved when there’s fewer cars out on the road.”

While this project in on the horizon, there is of course tips that you can follow to stay safe when the lanes are hard to see for the time being.

Trooper Robert Rogers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol says driving in the rain always adds a hazard when you’re driving, especially with interstate traffic. “One of the things to keep in mind, again is reducing your speed that’s going to help you see the roadway better,” says Rogers. “That’s also going to help your reaction time if there’s an obstacle or traffic or anything in the roadway that you need to avoid.”

Thompson says, “Expect the unexpected.”