Snow plows damage road reflectors on Highway 80

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga., (WSAV) — There are some potential safety hazards surfacing on the roads one week after the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry have thawed.

Reflectors are used to light the roads at night but they are no longer in place after our unusual winter weather. It may not bother you much during the day, but at night, some say it could mean the difference between life and death.

Winter Weather is rare for the Coastal Empire. What wasn’t rare for those who live on the islands is being trapped with no way out.

City of Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman says, “when the storm really hit we were unable to open Highway 80. It’s actually not under our control its a state and federal highway in a county jurisdiction. But it affects us cause its the only way we can get to or from the island.”

Highway 80 is the only way on and off the island. So it was up to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to it clear by treating it with a brine solution and clearing it with snow plows. Now those plows helped at the time. But Mayor Buelterman says they left a major concern for those who drive at night. “Some of those reflectors are no longer where they are before. So that’s going to have to be repaired.”

Reflectors are used as a safety device that shines light on the roadways back to its source.

News 3 reached out to GDOT to see if they are aware of the issue. Spokeswoman, Jill Nagel says, “this year’s unusual harsh winter weather and snowplows used to clear the region’s interstates and state routes from snow and ice can present a challenge with maintaining raised lane markers on the roads.”

Buelterman agrees GDOT did the best it could but now he wants to know will this be resolved before the resurfacing project scheduled for winter of this year.

GDOT tells News 3 once winter weather concludes statewide — roadway evaluations will be conducted in high-volume places like Tybee Island.

Until those reflectors are replaced officials ask you to be careful on the roads, drive cautiously and never drive distracted.


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