Yellow line down I-95 from Jacksonville to St. Augustine will get an overnight scrub

Published on September 11, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Do not follow the yellow painted road line, warns the Florida Department of Transportation, of the errant bright yellow 22-mile line that was applied to the roadway last week on southbound I-95 from Downtown Jacksonville to County Road 210 in St. Johns County.

But by Tuesday, the yellow dribble may no longer be a confusing extra marker, the FDOT said.

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FDOT maintenance officials were first notified of the line, wandering along lanes of the interstate, on Friday, says department spokesman Hampton Ray. After assessing the apparent paint spill, the solution is to put in some serious elbow grease beginning late Monday night and into Tuesday, Ray said.

The yellow paint line begins just south of the Atlantic Boulevard/Philips Highway merge with southbound I-95, then crosses multiple lanes, seen here approaching Emerson Street. | Dan Scanlan

“Crews will perform an aggressive wire brush treatment to the I-95 corridor between the Acosta Bridge and County Road 210 … to dislodge and remove yellow paint along the corridor,” Ray said, adding that the brush will be spinning on a street sweeper, followed by a construction truck for safety.

“The street sweeper will follow the path of the yellow paint spill on southbound I-95 in order to dislodge and remove portions of the yellow paint,” Ray said. “Motorists are encouraged to use caution when approaching the operation, safely pass the operation and continue their journey.”

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The FDOT has not announced who or what might have caused the paint stripe, which does a lane change or two as it approaches the Emerson Street exit. It stays on the interstate to the County Road 210 exit, where it dribbles eastward, as First Coast News discovered.

When asked about vehicles that have cameras that “read” pavement markings and could inadvertently “follow” the yellow splatter as a legitimate lane line, Ray said drivers should never rely solely on these features for safe driving. And don’t follow the line like it’s a legitimate lane boundary, he added.

Ray said, “The recent incident of paint spillage on the southbound I-95 serves as a reminder of the importance of proper load security and maintenance of vehicles before embarking on the road.”

As southbound I-95 approaches Emerson Street, the yellow paint strip – and whatever made it – had merged into the center lane. | Dan Scanlan

As to who or what left the multi-mile paint trail, WJCT News 89.9 reached out to a pavement-marking company that operates off County Road 210 in St. Augustine, but the person who answered the phone did not comment on the incident.

Ray said he does not believe any company has “officially taken responsibility” for the paint spill, so it would be “inappropriate and premature” to comment on culpability as the department continues to investigate.

And despite using a steel brush to scrape away the paint, Ray said that crews do not expect that it will “completely remove the material from the roadway” as the FDOT works to clean up the spill without damaging the roadway.