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TN Tape Takes Bizarre Twist

Friday, January 16, 2015

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Traffic markings on a Tennessee road took an unexpected turn when faced with adverse weather conditions.

Mother Nature took the blame for askew traffic tape meant to mark a temporary lane during construction on a Knox County, TN, road.

"When I first saw it, I kind of chuckled," Ben White, project manager for Knox County's Engineering Department, told NBC affiliate WBIR.

Knox County road tape
Screen grab via

A combination of cold weather, rain and traffic caused these road markings to look like an abstract painting.

"I said it looked like an abstract painting. It was definitely not what we intended."

Weather vs. Tape

"We put down the tape to mark this middle lane a couple of weeks ago. [...] It's better than painting temporary lines, because then you have to grind the pavement again to remove paint. But we noticed the tape starting to shift [...] just before Christmas," White said.

Apparently, the tape does not adhere very well in cold conditions.

When the temperature was combined with rain and cars stopping and starting on top of the tape, the lines and arrows started to push around, White explained.

White said he sent a photo of the mess to the subcontractor to notify them of the situation.

Ben White, Knox County Engineering via

"When I first saw it, I kind of chuckled," said Ben White, project manager for Knox County's Engineering Department.

Despite the confusing look of the markings, drivers reportedly had no problem figuring out which way they needed to go.


Tagged categories: North America; Roads/Highways; Surface Preparation; Traffic paint

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/16/2015, 8:24 AM)

If the tape was applied with the correct conditions (dry pavement, reasonably warm - exact numbers depend on the manufacturer) - it should not come up like that, even if it does get cold and wet later.

Comment from paul graham, (1/17/2015, 9:01 AM)

Read the application instructions next time . Conditions should have been followed.It was probably rushed application

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