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'I've almost wrecked a couple times': Charlotte drivers struggling to see lines in the rain

Drivers say they can't see the lines on some of Charlotte's busiest roads, including I-77 and I-485. It's made even worse when it rains.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some drivers say they're having a hard time staying in their lanes along some North Carolina highways, especially when it rains in Charlotte.

The recently signed infrastructure bill allotted $7 billion over the next five years to improve 3,000 miles of North Carolina roads. Jen Thompson with the North Carolina Department of Transportation says several resurfacing projects are on the way but acknowledged it can be confusing for drivers while the work is getting done. 

"When you're also actively resurfacing, especially when you have a large resurfacing contract, sometimes the contractor will work and resurface an area but then put down the temporary markings until they can get to all of the maps in the county," Thompson said. 

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Until then, some drivers in Charlotte say it's sometimes scary getting behind the wheel.

"Get rid of the existing lines because when they paint new lines, the lines are there," Eric Orozco said. "But you can still see the groove of the existing line which has really caused me issues. I've almost wrecked a couple of times because of it."

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Daniel Lewis echoed those comments, saying he's having trouble distinguishing where to go. 

"I've noticed you're just driving in a straight line and out of nowhere there's like, a big white line," Lewis said. "Like a white streak in the middle of the lane, which is kind of weird."

Hard-to-see lines are nothing new on Charlotte-area roads. Last April, a Mount Holly woman told Wake Up Charlotte's Ruby Durham the lines are "practically impossible" to see on I-485 when it rains. NCDOT said they planned to fix it in 2023 with a permanent solution in the works. 

"I've had some close calls with it growing up in the city," Charlotte native Lance Freeman said. "You know I love Charlotte, this is our city. So if the city can help us out and fix what they need to fix, the potholes and the lines and all the things like that, it would help the people love the city we hope they love us."

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NCDOT said snow plows sometimes damage reflective markers that are placed on the road to add to drivers' visibility at night and in wet weather. Sometimes they have to be replaced if they're loosened by a plow. 

NCDOT also recommends drivers use the following tips when driving in inclement weather, like rain or snow: 

  • Be ready to stop suddenly
  • Allow twice your normal following distance
  • Use your turn signals and brake early
  • Keep your headlights on low-beam
  • Slow down

Did you see something that needs to be looked at by NCDOT? Click here to report any concerns with the state

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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