Street Smarts

Installing rumble strips on U.S. 2 for safety isn’t slowing folks down all that much, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Construction on the busy road from Everett to Monroe started a week ago, with daytime work narrowing the road to one lane in each direction from Highway 9 to the trestle.

“So far there’s been no delays,” said Dawn McIntosh, the transportation department’s project engineer. “People are finding other routes or other times to travel.”

Rumble strips are being installed at night from Highway 9 to Monroe.

The strips, which make a loud noise when drivers run over them, will help keep folks from crossing the road’s centerline, which should reduce the number of fatal head-on collisions on the road.

From the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2002, 336 accidents occurred on the 11 miles of highway from Monroe to the east end of the U.S. 2 trestle, according to state statistics.

Twenty-one of those collisions involved two vehicles driving in opposite directions on a two-lane road, including one head-on accident, nine off-center head-ons and 11 side swipes. Three of the accidents were fatal.

Construction started last week and should last until mid-August. The project costs $365,000. It includes replacing some guardrails, streetlights and signs along the way.

Marysville near end of work on State Avenue

Workers will begin the final paving on Marysville’s State Avenue improvement project Monday. The work will be done at night to minimize the impact on traffic.

The work will finish a $6.4 million project to improve downtown Marysville’s main street.

Paving State Avenue from Fourth Street to Grove Street is expected to take four or five nights. Paving from First to Fourth streets and some finishing work will take a little longer.

The official reopening is scheduled Aug. 13 to kick off the Marysville HomeGrown Festival.

Replace your gas cap

Buy a new gas cap for your car and you will do your part to help clean up the air, says the state Department of Ecology.

Replacing an old or leaky gas cap can save as much as a gallon of gas every 15 days, keeping about 165 pounds of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals per year from getting into the air.

It cost about $5 to buy a new gas cap at your local parts store, said Sarah Rees, an atmospheric scientist and manager with the state’s air quality program.

“Look for cracks in the plastic, worn or missing seals or a cap that just won’t tighten like it use to,” Rees said. “And of course, if you don’t have a gas cap at all, it’s time to buy one.”

Rees said a new gas cap pays for itself in five months – that’s how much gasoline can evaporate away.

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