Lane restriping in construction zones causing chaos on I-35

Many drivers on I-35 are having a difficult time figuring out new lane striping in Austin construction zones.

“I mean it's just confusing,” said Ron O’Neal who drives on I-35 often. 

Two areas in particular have been especially difficult to navigate because of lane restriping; I-35 southbound just before and after Oltorf Street and I-35 southbound just before and after 51st Street.

“Nobody knows where they're supposed to go and which lane and it's up to that person to decide if you're in that lane or you go here or you go there. And you're going to end up with accidents. That's without a doubt that that would happen,” O’Neal said. 

The Texas Department of Transportation said they are aware of the issue because several people have sent complaints to them.

“We have contacted the construction crews and they are going to address those issues as soon as possible,” said TxDOT spokesperson Diann Hodges.

That could mean some temporary lane closures on I-35 Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

“The crews will go in and they will either blacken out the area where that striping was or they will seal it which will make the appearance of the stripes lessen,” Hodges said.  

TxDOT said as construction crews work on I-35 there will be several more areas where lanes are reworked or restriped. They encourage drivers to slow down and stay vigilante when traveling through work zones.

“Put down your phone, pay attention to the road and watch out for anything that might be out of the ordinary,” said Hodges. 

If there is an issue, TxDOT said they want to know about it so they can fix it, especially if it could be a public safety hazard, such as lane confusion.

“While they make all strides that they can to take those pavement markings off and make them appear less, that isn't always the case, so when we know that there's an issue, we go in and address it,” Hodges said.

Drivers said it shouldn't have taken so long for TxDOT to acknowledge the problem to begin with.

“As soon as I saw that there were two sets of lanes, I would've been like we've got to get out there and do something, you know,” said O’Neal. 

However, he is happy to hear that his commute will be just a little safer in the coming days.

TxDOT said because construction is still being completed in both the areas mentioned, it is possible the lanes will change again.

When asked how drivers can better navigate the interstate, Hodges told us whichever lane markings look newer are the right ones to follow.