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Ask 13: Why the delay in placing reflectors on I-40?

"Driving I-40 east or west on the mountain is very dangerous when it is dark and raining or foggy. They need to get the highway reflectors in so you can see where the lanes are or even which way the road curves," Cindy Inman said in an email to Ask 13. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The winter months can create some really poor driving conditions. That's especially true going up and down Old Fort Mountain.

Several people have complained about a repaving project on Interstate 40 in that area. The problem is while the new pavement and paint have gone in, the highway reflectors are missing.

People who drive Old Fort Mountain said it's dangerous without them.

"Driving I-40 east or west on the mountain is very dangerous when it is dark and raining, or foggy. They need to get the highway reflectors in so you can see where the lanes are, or even which way the road curves," Cindy Inman said in an email to Ask 13.

Inman, who travels the road frequently, said even the big rigs are driving 20 miles an hour in the center lane because they can't see at night.

Others have said it's just dangerous and want to know why it's taking so long to get the reflectors placed.

DOT construction engineer Rick Tipton said it's a process.

"The paving started back in August and, of course, we had to have some interim paint markings as we went through that progress. When we pave a road, the highly reflective paint that we use, we have to wait about 15 days to get a good bond after the pavement's been put down," Tipton said.

And reflective markers can't be put down until all the painting has been completed.

But the good news is DOT said the reflective markers should start going in this week.

Tipton said DOT is well aware that visibility can be extremely poor on the mountain. That's why additional reflective markers will be installed.

Other than the markers to divide the lanes, there will also be markers on the edges of the highway.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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