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Solar-powered pavement markers from a Boise, Idaho, startup are helping the state transportation department light particularly dark highways.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), which last year deployed nonstop weigh stations for truckers and realized construction efficiencies by mandating contractors use GPS, is piloting new wireless technology aimed at shedding some light on the state’s darkest highways.

Last month, state employees installed the first 100 of an eventual 700 solar-powered pavement markers. The patented markers, which measure four by six inches, are three-quarters of an inch tall and meet federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices regulations. They’re the first in four planned series of smart lane markers from Evolutionary Markings Inc. (EMI), a Boise startup that will celebrate its fourth year in September.

Each of these S100 markers, the first series, comes with a $90 price tag, but Idaho officials have been sufficiently intrigued by their promise to make them available to all six transportation districts this spring.

The first installation of markers took less than two hours and required only construction epoxy by way of materials, making it something of a cost savings according to ITD Maintenance Foreman David Petersdorf, whose district covers the southeast part of the state.

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