State DOT to remove giant insects from Delmar Bypass

Posted at: 08/26/2013 11:44 PM
Updated at: 08/27/2013 12:31 AM
By: Steve Flamisch

BETHLEHEM -- Four large, white insects painted on State Route 32 are scheduled to be exterminated Tuesday, a state Department of Transportation (DOT) spokeswoman said.

It's unclear who painted the bugs or why, DOT spokeswoman Carol Breen said. A road crew will cover them with a coat of driveway sealer to prevent driver distraction.

"My daughter is a learning driver so I'm sure that if she came upon them, she probably would be like, 'What's that?'" Dawn Weisenburgh, of Delmar, told NewsChannel 13. "Thinking it was something maybe alive in the road -- an animal or something -- she would swerve."

The insects first appeared several weeks ago, straddling the broken white line in the southbound lanes of the highway, also known as the Delmar Bypass, between Elsmere Ave. and Murray Ave.

Each one is several feet in length, complete with three body segments, six legs, antennae and mandibles. They appear to be ants, but attempts to reach entomologists for a positive identification were unsuccessful.

It was unclear late Monday whether the Bethlehem Police Department was investigating the bugs. A spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Breen, the DOT spokeswoman, said removing the paint will not come at any additional cost to taxpayers. The maintenance and manpower are covered by the county's general maintenance fund.