Snohomish County has received a federal safety grant to address road safety issues on roads in rural areas, primarily the problem of vehicles drifting out of lanes or off the road.
About $1.7 million of $2.5 million grant will allow the county to apply Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) striping along the centerlines and edges of several rural roads within the county. The remainder will be used for intersection improvements.
“These funds will allow us to continue improving the safety of our road system for drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
MMA striping has a raised profile and provides a rumble effect when vehicles stray out of their lanes. A national study in 2008 found that 60 percent of all traffic fatalities were caused by vehicles leaving the edge of the roadway or veering into oncoming traffic. The raised profile is also more reflective at night than painted markings, and delineates more clearly the centerline and edges of a road.
MMA striping also has a longer life expectancy than paint and is very resistant to snow plow damage. The project will include the application of this special striping along approximately 38 miles of road to replace painted lines.
The county will target roads with a history of accidents where vehicles have strayed off
the edge of the roadway or crossed the centerline. Portions of the following roads will receive the MMA striping: Jordan Road, Ben Howard Road, 311th Avenue Southeast, Pioneer Highway, Forty Five Road, and 67th Avenue Northeast.
Application of the striping is currently planned for the summers of 2012 and 2013.
About $800,000 in grant money will be used to pay for three additional traffic safety improvement projects. The county will make traffic signal modifications at the 128th Street Southwest/4th Avenue West intersection and the 164th Street Southwest/35th Avenue West intersection as well as improve the sight distance at the 67th Avenue Northeast and 132nd Street Northeast intersection.