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After CBS 11 Report, Cones & Signs Now Mark Berry Street Median

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - A graveyard of wrecked rims sit at an East Berry Street tire shop in Fort Worth.

"This one, that one," Hilal Mohammed counts out loud as he shows the discarded rims left behind after frustrated drivers came to him for help last Friday.

CBS 11 News was there as unsuspecting drivers didn't notice a median, until it was too late. The City of Fort Worth is repaving the roads in the area. Drivers mistook an unmarked turn lane for a road. One of them -- an employee at the nearby tire shop.

"I drive here almost every day, and it caught me off guard too," said Juma Salish, an assistant manager at Deals on Tires.

East Berry rims
(credit: Gilma Avalos/CBS 11 News)

Salish is out $134. The jolt cost some upwards of $300.

"I'm going to pay for it out of my own pocket. I have no choice. 'Who's going to pay for it?'" Salish asked.

There are now dozens of bright orange cones, traffic barrels and multiple signs to warn drivers. There were none on Friday.

Salish thinks the action has come a little late. "It's something that could have been avoided if they had signs there."

When she first reported the story CBS 11's Arezow Doost asked the City of Fort Worth why orange cones and barrels couldn't be placed in the area to warn drivers. A city spokesperson said they too could be a hazard.

On Monday, it seemed the cones and barrels appeared to be making a difference.

Through a spokesperson, Richard E. Martinez, the assistant director of Transportation and Public Works, explained via email -

"Our project manager was only stating that placing cones or barrels in the turn and driving lanes, in general, would not be safe for the motoring public. There was no mention of cars crashing into the median when he responded. Once the complete issue was brought to the attention of our staff, they contacted the contractor who immediately dispatched crews to place delineators, cones and barrels in the median."

Martinez added, "The contractor has been notified to monitor all traffic control devices until such time as the permanent pavement markings are installed."

The city says it will now prioritize striping East Berry. The work was scheduled for the first week of December, but should now be finished by week's end.

Despite requests for on camera interviews with Fort Worth's Transportation and Public Works Department, CBS 11 was told, no one was available.

When asked if the city plans to compensate motorists who had damage to their cars as a result of hitting the median at this construction site, Martinez said drivers wanting to file a claim can call 817-392-7402 or go to the City of Fort Worth website and download a claim form from the Risk Management tab. The claim is then processed, reviewed and a determination of responsibility is determined.

"If there was a contractor, that contractor under the contract is responsible for maintaining the markings and the safety of the street so we would expect that contractor to stand up for any damages," said District 6 Council member Jungas Jordan.

Though this is not his district, Jordan says constituents should have an expectation of safety on all our roads.

"The fact that there is construction does not relieve us of the responsibility of a safe street."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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