Most of us realize crosswalks are the safest place to cross city streets. To help mark the area, Tampa started putting down a red-colored fake brick product.
Some people like the way it looks, while others call it road waste. No matter how you feel about, the product certainly is not built to last like bricks.
"It reasonably lasts about three years, but it can last a little bit longer," said FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson.
Florida's Department of Transportation has approved this product for use all over the state. We found it already starting to chip, crack and fade at several locations throughout the city, which caught the eye of Tampa City Councilmen Mike Suarez after our first story aired back in February.
"The first thing I thought is, it doesn't look very good and it's not good for us or the city."
It turns out in addition to the short lifespan of the product, FOX 13 uncovered that it's not supposed to be put down on old roads. FDOT guidelines say it "cannot be applied to any state highway whose asphalt pavement is older than five years."
But some sections of West Kennedy Boulevard -- where the product was recently put down -- have not been resurfaced in almost 15 years.
"If you've got an older road or a potholed road and you put this material down, it's going to replicate what's underneath," said Carson.
So why didn't the city follow the guidelines? Carson says the fake brick product is relatively new and the new directive came out after Tampa had already started work on roads.
FDOT and the city are now meeting and evaluating the next step on the crosswalks. In the meantime, all future applications of the product are on hold.
"Anytime there is taxpayers dollars that go into a project, we need to make sure the job is done right. If it's not done right, we need to fix it and make sure it doesn't happen again," added Councilmen Suarez.
Despite the problems with the textured product and the short lifespan, Carson says FDOT says it's happy with the product and has no plans to discontinue using it.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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