By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
Drivers should soon have an easier time navigating rural roads in northern and eastern Snohomish County, thanks to a grant-funded project to provide more visible lane markings.
County work crews hope to complete work striping 38 miles of roadway during the next two summers. That work, plus improvements to several intersections, is supported by a $2.5 million grant that the Federal Highway Administration awarded last year.
A compound called methyl methacrylate that the county plans to use for the striping is raised and creates a rumble effect when tires roll over it. It’s supposed to alert drivers when they’re in danger of leaving their lane. That’s the single-most dangerous scenario leading to fatal crashes in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of all fatal crashes, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Sometimes, cars cross the centerline and hit other vehicles. In other cases, they roll over or hit fixed objects.
The study also found that more than twice as many fatal lane-departure crashes on rural roads compared to urban roads.
The type of striping the county plans to use has a longer life expectancy than standard paint. It’s highly resistant to damage from snow plows.
The county intends to target these areas: Jordan Road, which runs between Arlington and Granite Falls; Ben Howard Road near Monroe; 311th Avenue SE near Sultan; Pioneer Highway near Stanwood; Forty Five Road in the Lakewood area; and 67th Avenue NE near Arlington and Marysville.
The striping accounts for about $1.7 million of the grant. The remaining $800,000 is for intersection improvements. They include traffic-signal modifications at 128th Street SW and Fourth Avenue West in south Everett, as well as the intersection of 164th Street SW and 35th Avenue West near Lynnwood. The grant also should help improve sight distance at 67th Avenue NE and 132nd Street NE between Arlington and Marysville.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, firstname.lastname@example.org.