Innovative surface treatment will prevent skidding on King County’s busiest roads
King County identified 28 of the busiest roads in unincorporated areas to receive an innovative surface treatment that provides tires with better grip and additional guardrails. The projects will be paid for by a $3.2 million federal grant to improve road safety.
More than two dozen of King County’s busiest roads will get a surface treatment that provides tires with better grip and reduces the likelihood of skidding, thanks to a $3.2 million federal grant.
The surface treatment and additional guardrails will be installed on roads that King County’s Department of Transportation identified as high-crash locations outside of cities – in Highline/North Shorewood, on Vashon Island, outside Woodinville, in the Snoqualmie Valley, south of Issaquah, near North Bend, north of Covington, and between Auburn and Black Diamond.
“Drivers throughout unincorporated King County will be safer thanks to additional guardrails and an innovative solution to slippery roads,” said Executive Dow Constantine. “By focusing federal funds on the busiest roads with the most accidents, we will make the most of this investment in our region’s safety.”
So-called high-friction surface treatments bond aggregate materials to the top layer of a roadway, channeling away water and providing tires with more grip to reduce the likelihood of skidding and loss of control. The county has identified 24 locations for this treatment and four locations for guardrail and other improvements based largely on crash history and average daily traffic. Sites throughout unincorporated King County were chosen where the risks of running off the road are greatest.
“My district includes hundreds of miles of winding rural roadways where curves or hills create greater risks for skidding off the road,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “These new roadway treatments help tires grip the road in dangerous areas. I am encouraged to hear that other transportation departments are also saying that this is an economical way to measurably improve safety.”
“Those that rely on the King County road system will be happy to know that with the help of federal funding we’re going to deliver targeted safety improvements to make our roads safer,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “We’re looking forward to having these improvements on Kent-Kangley Road, south of Issaquah, near Shadow Lake and near May Valley road.”
The county’s Road Services Division is scheduled to install the high friction surface treatments and guardrail in 2016. The agency has had to reduce service for roads and bridges in the unincorporated areas of the county significantly as revenues declined during the recession, and as a result, there is a growing backlog of county road needs. Recent strategic planning deemed safety as the most important consideration for allocating precious road dollars. With this federal safety grant, driving will be safer at these 28 locations.
The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jeff Switzer, Department of Transportation, 206-477-3833