Dozens of burned out street lights line Charlotte area interstates

Street lights are meant to keep drivers safe offering a better view of dark roads, but WBTV has discovered dozens of burned out street lights lining area highways.

Cruise down I-85, I-77 or I-277 at night and it's hard not to notice the darkness.

Donna Hernandez works until midnight every night, and doesn't think she should have to drive home with only the help of her headlights.

"Especially at night, when you have car trouble and everything. There's going to be wrecks, people getting killed and unnecessarily," Hernandez said.

WBTV drove the roads and spotted countless burned out street lamps, including a stretch of nearly 15 in a row on I-277.

"Our taxes, where are they going? They're supposed to be going to fix the roads, the lights," Hernandez said.

WBTV asked the North Carolina Department of Transportation why we spotted countless burned out lights. They say this is an issue they've already heard about from Charlotte City Council Members, and that they're working on it saying:

"NCDOT Division 10 has written the contract for work to address areas with significant outages, including those cited by Council Members. Because the work involves federal money, the contract requires additional review to ensure it meets federal guidelines. If the Division receives construction authorization on the expected schedule, the contract will be put out for bids in January with a February 4th opening date. The availability date on this schedule would be February 18th with a 60-day window for completion. The contractor should need only a couple of weeks of good weather to complete the work, but it could take up to 30 days for materials to arrive."

"I think they need to fix it. Somebody is not doing their job, obviously," Hernandez said.

NCDOT added they are working to convert all street lamps to LED lights. That conversion is expected to take two years.