(WFRV) – Drivers in Wisconsin may have noticed large stripes that appear to be painted across local highways and might be wondering why they are there, state officials have provided an explanation.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), the large stripes are actually thermoplastic coatings that are being placed on high-traffic snowmobile trails.

Officials say the coating helps to protect the road surface from possible wear and tear from snowmobiles crossing the highway.

  • Stripes for snowmobiles on Wisconsin highways
  • Stripes for snowmobiles on Wisconsin highways

Along with helping to protect the road surface, the special coating also helps to give a visual cue to passing drivers to be on the lookout for crossing snowmobilers.

WisDOT states that about every four years, crews apply the material in three layers to reduce wear on the material itself.

Some highways include WIS 47 in Oneida County, WIS 70 in Vilas County, and US 51 in Iron County.