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County installs billboard sign warning drivers to 'merge early' along Big Bend Rd.

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 18:45:21-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on drivers who merge at the last second by giving out a $153 ticket to drivers. 

Big Bend Road in Riverview has become a congestion nightmare for drivers like Angela Fitch. 

"I try not to get road rage," she said. 

Fitch said she noticed deputies put up a billboard sign along the median on Big Bend Road that reads to merge early, or else you will receive a ticket. 

A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says deputies have written 22 citations and 67 warnings since the beginning of this year.

The last-second mergers are part of the traffic problem along Big Bend Road, according to authorities. 

In May, FDOT installed 65 delineators along the westbound turning lane to get onto 75 North. They are a long-term, safety improvement. 

FDOT said earlier this year that adding the delineators was not part of the Big Bend Road Project to help with traffic, but it's meant to make it safer for drivers until they complete major construction to alleviate the congestion in that area.

Read more about the Big Bend interchange project here.  

Man starts petition to speed up improvements along Big Bend Road

Drivers get FDOT to install delineators on Big Bend Road

However, ABC Action News found the white poles are constantly being knocked down by drivers. Three weeks ago, on May 17, FDOT crews had to reinstall 11 of the delineators. 

This week, nearly ten more are missing. 

FDOT tells us it cost the state around $5,600 to install the delineators, including labor, materials, and equipment.