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Clear, bright lines on Turnpike easier to see - abc27 WHTM

Clear, bright lines on Turnpike easier to see

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

It is dark and raining.

You can't see what lane you're in, because the painted lines are underwater and invisible.

Engineers at the Pennsylvania Turnpike feel your discomfort and are working to ease it.

It's a bright idea that throws a light switch on the white and yellow lane lines.

It's called epoxy triple drop. Why the name?

"Because we do it in three drops," said Tom Macchione, a traffic engineer with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. "We have the first drop is color specific ceramic bead, yellow or white. The second drop would be the visi-bead which is a clear, virgin glass and a larger bead. And the third is a standard glass bead, which is recycled glass."

The Turnpike got the idea of gluing beads to the road from the New York Thruway.

PennDOT's also exploring the triple drop process for possible use on its roads.

The beaded lines are laid down into a groove cut into the Turnpike, so snow plows don't scrape them off.

They're currently in Cumberland, Lancaster and Lebanon counties and could be coming to a stretch of Turnpike near you.

"We have had customers say they really like 'em. They see 'em and want to know why we don't have them all over the system," Macchione said.

Good question, so why not?

"The cost," Macchione said.

A traditional line costs 20 cents per foot to paint, Macchione tells us.

Triple drop is ten times more expensive at $2 per foot. But it lasts four times longer than a typical painted line.

But it's much clearer, and brighter, and ultimately safer.

"I like to see any kind of safety enhancement that makes the road safer for our customers," Macchione said. "Just me driving home from work at night when I get there, immediately it lights up and its easier to drive."

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