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WBOY 12 News

What are the black cords that go across West Virginia roadways?

By Sam Kirk,


FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — Pairs of black cords that run over public roads have been spotted in West Virginia, particularly in the Fairmont area, but don’t worry; they are not tracking your speed.

According to West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) District 4 Manager Mike Daley, the cords and the boxes attached to them are traffic counters. Although they are frequently placed at speed limit signs, they only track the ADT—average daily traffic on that section of road.

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The ADT is counted on state-owned roads about every four years, Daley said, and each counter is in place for about two weeks. Data is then sent to the WVDOT Traffic Division to help its members make decisions such as planning materials and scheduling maintenance and roadway projects.

12 News first noticed the cords on the Gateway Connector and Fairmont Avenue in Fairmont, but Daley said that they are placed on roadways across the state. They have also been recently spotted in Monongalia and Harrison counties.

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