RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s a good chance you have noticed colorful paint markings on roads and sidewalks across the Triangle where there’s construction or road work happening, but one Raleigh driver reached out to CBS 17 hoping to find out who is responsible for removing the paint after the work is completed.
The driver said the paint has remained on his neighborhood streets long after the work appears to be finished.
North Carolina 811 executive director Louis Panzer says state regulations don’t address removal but do require paint to be soluble, which he says is considered more environmentally friendly.
Panzer said often construction will extend beyond 15 working days from the first notice.
“In this case, the marks are refreshed to assure the excavators avoid interrupting service to a community or cause an injury,” said Panzer.
Every colored line you see on the road or sidewalk indicates an important utility or service line underneath. NC 811’s mission is to educate and promote safe digging to prevent injury.
According to North Carolina Statue 87-121, “the location of the line shall be marked by stakes, soluble paint, flags, or any combination thereof, as appropriate, depending upon the conditions in the area of the proposed excavation or demolition.”
So, who removes the paint if the work is completed? Panzer said you can request removal from the company whose line it is. You can use this color code identifier.
“If the marks have been there for a long time and someone wishes to have them removed because the project is completed, they should likely use the identifier of the marks to identify the company and request the removal directly from them,” he said.
Panzer stressed that it is important people understand there is a lot of work happening, and the marks may be there for a different project. He said people will also notice more paint and flags present in the Raleigh area due to the “significant” telecommunications installations, as well as other excavations taking place.
CBS 17’s Laura Smith also reached out to utility company Dominion Energy about its lines.
Spokesperson Persida Montanez said Dominion Energy uses soluble paint that fades after a couple of weeks.
“The paint can take a little longer to fade and go away. I’d note that the markings are only valid for a set period, and if construction work is extended, a new marking request is required and the paint will be freshened up by the facility owner,” said Montanez.
She said this is not uncommon and may give the appearance that the paint is “permanent.”
“I would also point out that the absence of visible construction doesn’t mean that work isn’t happening or that it’s over for the excavator, utility, or builder,” said Montanez.
She said there’s a lot of pre-construction work happening underground nowadays using methods that do not disturb the surface.
“Again, we can only speak about our marking practices,” said Montanez.