Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
Drivers across North Texas are having a difficult time navigating on roadways that have dirt covering lane markers.
The ice storm that paralyzed North Texas may be long gone, but drivers are now forced to navigate the mess it left behind.
The heavy graders that scraped the ice off roadways also shaved off raised reflectors which protrude slightly from the roadway and help separate the lanes.
Dirt from sanding operations also covers the painted lane stripes, making it difficult to drive straight - especially along bridges and overpasses.
"Some of the lanes are kind of uneven,” said one driver at a convenience store off state Highway 360. “The markers are gone. But mostly it's the dirt."
Some call the raised reflectors "buttons." Others call them "botts dots."
Whatever they are called, the Texas Department of Transportation has a plan to fix them.
"What we're doing right now is we're having our maintenance supervisors drive through our corridors and identify the locations where we need to replace both the striping and/or buttons,” said TxDOT spokesman Val Lopez of the department’s Fort Worth office. “We'll come back shortly after the new year and replace them where it is necessary."
Lopez said it is impossible to estimate how many need to be replaced.
But he added fixing the reflectors is now a priority – along with another issue after the ice storm – filling numerous potholes.