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New I-85 lane labels meant to ease confusion

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is trying something new to deal with drivers who get confused when they come to where I-85 and Business 85 split in Greensboro.

Nine new interstate shield markings are now in place right between the white lines on the highway. The markings are big, plastic stickers that clearly show which lanes continue to I-85 and which ones don't.

The signs were put down on Sunday. Traffic engineer Dawn McPherson said the "Exit 120" sign between I-85 and Business 85 has been damaged several times because of late mergers.

"What we have seen is, all of a sudden, somebody realizes that they're supposed to be on the I-85 side or the Business 85 side. At the last minute, they'll cross over in front of traffic and they'll weave in real fast," Mcpherson said. "We just can't keep it standing up."

The markings will not replace or supersede the traditional overhead green signs.

"The overhead signs are our main guide signs, and those are what the people should be looking at," Mcpherson said. "It's just a supplement. It's just to sort of remind you, 'Hey, this 85 here. This where you need to be.' It's sort of a confirmation that you're in the right lane."

Similar road markings have been successful along I-40 near Research Triangle Parkway in the Raleigh-Durham area. The success there inspired the installations here.

The DOT plans to install more interstate shield markings this summer near Colfax where Interstate 40 and Business 40 split.