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Why rain makes Colorado lane markers harder to see (and why it's even harder on C-470)

Can't see clearly now. The rain is here.

Rain, rain, go away, I need to see the proper la-ne.

OK, so it doesn't quite rhyme.

You can thank Colorado winters for why it's hard to see the lane lines in non-winter months.

Because of snowplows, lane lines on Colorado highways are purposely dug into the roadway, so the plows aren't scraping off the paint; so if it rains hard, the water might pool on top of the white lines, making them a little harder to see. The Colorado Department of Transportation puts the lane lines deeper into the roadway, and then they spray them with reflective paint. (Yes, CDOT does use reflective paint.)

"We are using reflective paint, that is a common misconception. And the reason why it might not seem as reflective during rain storms is because it is starting to get into that inlet paving for the lane markers," said CDOT Spokeswoman Stacia Sellers.

Concrete, rain and water don't necessarily mix, but neither do multiple lane lines.

On C-470, an expansion project is adding toll lanes in each direction (two new lanes for a portion of westbound C-470). The lanes have shifted multiple times, meaning the lane lines have been drawn, erased and re-drawn, kind of.

"There was a downpour a couple of weeks ago, I did notice that it can be a little difficult to tell between the existing pavement markings and the new pavement markings," said Sellers.

"We are making sure that we are using taxpayer money efficiently, and since we are going to be shifting traffic onto new pavement toward the end of the month, there's no reason to do permanent inlay markings that we normally would, just because it's not going to exist in a couple of months."

CDOT told 9NEWS that driver safety is always the top priority. They believe C-470 is safe, and this is cost efficient (and you know we'd do a story on why they're spending money redoing lane lines on pavement that'll go away in a few weeks).

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