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What’s that black shiny stuff on the U.S. 17-74-76 causeway pavement?

Ken Little

Q. Recently, contractors sprayed a shiny black substance on U.S. 17-74-76 between Leland and Wilmington. Now, in the mornings and evenings, during rush hour, the sun reflects off the road making it impossible to see your travel lane. The same thing happens when it rains. What purpose did it serve to spray the roadway black and create this dangerous situation? Can something be done to fix it? Also, what does this substance consist of? Is it common practice to apply it to roadways?

A. A new product called MagNuLane is being used “to cover the entire asphalt surface when we make traffic shifts in work zones,” said Wanda James of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Burgaw Construction Office.

“This product gives the appearance of new asphalt pavement, covering the old pavement marking lines so the new pavement marking lines are on a new black surface,” James said.

MagNuLane eliminates the need to grind the old pavement markings off existing pavement, and that has created confusion about what markings to follow in work zone situations, James said.

“With the grinding of the pavement marking whether it is day or night and especially during rainy weather, the ground pavement can appear to be the markings, which often create motorist confusion,” James said.

The condition noted by the reader is created by the angle of the sun, “not the material we are using, which has a polymer coating with virtually no reflectivity,” James said.

With all of N.C. DOT’s east-west roadways “this condition commonly occurs and happens when the sun is at a lower horizon,” she said.

“N.C. DOT has used this product in test locations and this is the first work zone application and we are evaluating this product’s performance,” James said.


What is the timetable for widening the causeway between Wilmington and Leland? How long will it take?

Why are cement guard rails being placed on U.S. 17 near the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge?

Did the contractors who painted the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge pay a fine for not completing the project on time?

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