DALTON -- Defective, worn out, damaged and unreflective reflectors are being removed from state roads across Berkshire County.
A $869,000 project is underway to remove all of the old reflectors and replace them with new ones.
The reflectors are meant to keep the attention of drivers at night by reflecting light and keeping them away from the median.
"They are either no longer reflective or may have been dinged by a plow," Mike Verseckes, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, said.
The old reflectors are all being replaced with ones that have newer design standards, Verseckes said. The newer designs are more reflective.
"Design standards change over time," Verseckes said.
Some of the originals date back to the 1990s, although they were installed on various roads at different times over the past 20 years.
The old reflectors had roughly a 1/16-inch gap between them and the pavement. The new ones will not have any such gaps, Verseckes said. They also are "recessed into the pavement itself," he said.
Many of the reflectors are not working for reasons that range from pavement cracks and worn-out material to the condition of the road they're on, Verseckes said. Water may have been seeping into the cracks and damaging the reflectors, or also causing ice buildup.
The two-year project to replace the reflectors began this summer. The state contracted with Maine-based Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc. for the work.
Contractors will be paving over the area around the old reflectors into November, before taking a break from the work over the winter.
The work will stretch across state routes 2, 7, 8, 9, 20, 23, 41, 112 and 116.
To reach Nathan Mayberg:
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