New lane striping causing major confusion on I-35

Drivers say they're experiencing close calls on I-35 because of the lane markings

Confusion over new and old striping on I-35 SB is leading to close calls on the interstate. (KXAN Photo)
Confusion over new and old striping on I-35 SB is leading to close calls on the interstate. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Drivers in Austin are pointing out a major safety concern on Interstate 35. New lane striping in construction zones on I-35 South near the Oltorf Street exit and I-35 North near the 51st Street exit is hard to tell apart from the old striping. Drivers say they’re confused about which lane to stay in, and it’s leading to dozens of close calls.

The questionable lane markings in both sections of I-35 are part of a Texas Department of Transportation project to add U-turn lanes to overpasses.

TxDOT wasn’t immediately aware of the problem. After hearing about the driver complaints, the department’s spokeswoman Diann Hodges said construction crews did remove old lane markings, but because they were in place too long, they leave behind very noticeable marks on the highway.

“While they makes all strides that they can to take those pavement markings off and make them appear less, that isn’t always the case,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she contacted the construction crews after being made aware of the complaints.

“The crews will go in, and they will either blacken out the area where that striping was, or they will seal it, which will make the appearance of the stripes lessen,” Hodges said, adding that the problem will be fixed by Wednesday or Thursday morning.

Hodges says the striping issue is a great example of why drivers should report any issues they see on the road immediately.

“We aren’t always on every single road,” she said, “And we don’t see everything that’s happening, so if somebody sees something that they feel is a hazard we want to hear it, and then that way we can address it, if possible.”

To make a complaint, you can contact TxDOT on their website.

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