Cities in county to share $9M for road safety work

  • Thu Jun 7th, 2012 8:28pm
  • News

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

EVERETT — More than $9 million in federal funds has been set aside to improve safety on streets throughout Snohomish County, the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

Everett is set to receive $1.5 million.

“It’s nice to get this economic assistance in these economic times,” said Richard Tarry, city engineering services manager and grant writer. “The money will allow us to make important upgrades to safety features.”

Everett, Arlington, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Marysville are among the 40 Washington cities chosen to receive a share of $50 million in federal safety funds.

Edmonds received $5.2 million, the largest of the grants in the state.

The money will be used for 75 street improvement projects across the state, said Ann Briggs, state transportation spokeswoman. The projects should help reduce intersection-related collisions on city streets and on state highways that serve as city arterials, she said in a statement Thursday.

As part of the state’s highway safety plan, the transportation department invited cities with high rates of intersection-related crashes to apply for the federal safety grants.

Selected projects include low-cost changes such as modifying traffic signals to make them more visible to drivers and synchronizing signal timing to reduce accidents and congestion.

Other improvements include making pavement markings and signs more visible to drivers at night, upgrading crosswalks to make them more visible to drivers and giving pedestrians more time to cross streets.

The state analyzed collisions for a five-year period and found intersection-related crashes accounted for more than half of all serious injury and fatality collisions on city streets and city-maintained state highways, transportation officials said.

Contributing factors in these collisions included outdated traffic signals, old signs and worn-out pavement markings and pedestrian-crossing signals that lack countdown timers.

Construction on some projects could begin this summer, with most projects scheduled to be completed during the next three years.

The cities of Marysville and Arlington will share $143,000 for improvements on Smokey Point Boulevard. Marysville is set to receive $1.64 million for improvements citywide, and especially on State Street.

Everett’s money is to be spent citywide, but especially on Highway 99, Evergreen Way, Rucker, Everett Mall Way, Broadway and Airport Road.

Lynnwood will use $1.32 million for improvements around the city, with a focus on highways 99 and 524.

Lynnwood and Edmonds also are set to share $472,500 for upgrades to signals, pavement markings and signs on highways 99 and 524.

Edmonds’ projects will focus on Highway 99 and 228th Street SW. More than $4 million is to be spend to extend a roadway, change intersection alignment and add traffic signals.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

Learn more

For more information on these projects, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/LocalPrograms/Traffic/CitySafetyFunded.htm.