Lane markers on I-15 cause confusion, concern for drivers


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Lane markers on I-15 cause confusion, concern for drivers

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Feb 11, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Drivers are concerned about safety on a stretch of Interstate 15 where construction has led to a series of lane shifts over the past few weeks.

The leftover paint that once marked the old lanes is making it difficult to determine which lane is the travel lane and some worry that could lead to an accident.

"The pattern of the road goes one way and the lines take you another," said cab driver Hilbert Yurckonis.

Even if you follow the signs, good luck following the lines on I-15 just north of U.S. 95.

"It looks like there's two to three different lanes in one lane," said tow truck driver Patrick Fleming.

Drivers said the stretch of freeway is not only a construction zone, but a confusion zone. The lines were painted to shift lanes for the F Street construction project. 

The problem: several sets of old lanes are still visible, often called "ghost lanes," making it tough for drivers to figure out which set of lanes to follow. The sun glare only makes the problem worse.

"You have the new markings but the old markings are still there," Fleming.

Fleming said he's worried about the safety of others.

"I try to slow up to prevent myself from going into someone else's lane," Fleming said.

The Nevada Department of Transportation said it is not aware of the confusion leading to any accidents so far; the state said it receives a handful of complaints about the problem daily.

"Each time we do a lane shift, that creates areas we have to erase the old lines and put in new lines," said NDOT field supervisor Chris Whitten.

Whitten said the current lines are the result of four lane changes. He said the lines are difficult to remove; the main way to get rid of them involves grinding down the pavement.

"It's a very expensive and time consuming process," Whitten said.

Even then, the lines may still be seen. Whitten said the state would send crews out Tuesday night to add paint and reflective devices called "buttons" to assist drivers.

"We try to do what we can to make the travel lanes clear for the public," Whitten said.

The state also encouraged drivers to slow down. The construction zone speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

The final layer of pavement and lane markings likely won't be in place until the end of summer, Whitten said. The state is planning an additional two lane shifts before the project wraps up.