Can’t see on stormy, foggy nights on Highway 17, motorist says

Dear Street Smarts,


Q Coming over Highway 17 in the dark when there is rain -- and sometimes fog -- has become unnecessarily dangerous on the Santa Cruz side of the mountain. I am referring to the often dismal condition of the reflective center markers that delineate the lanes. 

     For many stretches, especially where the retaining wall construction has taken place, the markers peter out for a distance or are completely absent. 

     Likewise, the rightmost lane stripe is old and inadequate in places.  I realize that replacing these are probably the finishing touches on the construction project, but meanwhile, those visual cues provide just about all there is to keep us on the road on a wet and foggy night. When a driver is relying on them and suddenly they just disappear, it is scary and potentially disastrous.

     Is Caltrans just waiting for summer and construction to finalize? 

     Safety first, please, especially in the depths of winter.

Chris Jones


     A Fog lines in front of all the retaining walls went in in January, according to Caltrans officials, who agree the reflective buttons would make visibility easier.

     The agency has been working with Pavex to get those replaced as much as possible, but with the soggy weather, they haven’t been able to get out there.

     Look for your request to be added to the to-do list when the sky dries up and crews are able to get back to work, Caltrans said.


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