Roads getting stripes for summer |

Roads getting stripes for summer

An endless sea of black asphalt is getting some boundaries.

City and state road crews has started repainting the center line on South Shore streets and U.S. Highway 50.

“It does get really hard to see the lines out there,” said Sgt. Tom Conner of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. “It is just one of those things we have to put up with because of the climate we live in.”

The lack of road markings can result in problems, especially when people are unfamiliar with the roads, according to Conner. In the past, the police department has asked the California Department of Transportation to stripe Lake Tahoe Boulevard, where the problem is noticeable as early as January. Caltrans is responsible for maintaining U.S. Highway 50 but the city of South Lake Tahoe maintains every other road within the city limits.

“It is something we do every spring,” said Mark Dinger, a Caltrans spokesman, but both he and city officials said their efforts depend on the weather.

“Weather conditions will dictate when we can and can’t do it but we do our best to be on top of it when we have a nice day,” said Scott Rogers, the street superintendent for the city of South Lake Tahoe. “You look for a window of opportunity like you have now.”

The city striped streets in the Bijou area last week and Caltrans began work on Lake Tahoe Boulevard between the “Y” and Stateline Friday.

The lack of snow at lake level has forced maintenance crews to use sand to clear the roads, which destroys the paint more quickly, according to Rogers. “It has just been that type of winter,” he said. “We haven’t been getting much snow – just these nuisance storms – so we have used a lot of sand but haven’t done as much plowing as in years past.”

When the weather is good Caltrans will work on U.S. Highway 50 until it is safely striped, according to Dinger.

“When you have plows plowing and sweepers sweeping the paint just wears off,” he added.

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