New markings on new Seabeck Highway pavement called inadequate

The in basket: Kathryn Seals writes to say she has been

wondering if I’ve had any comments on the striping/reflectors on the new stretches of pavement leading to the recently completed roundabout at Seabeck Highway/Holly Road.

“The paint has minimal reflective content and the actual reflectors are few and far between,” she said. “Most of the new roads I’ve been on have been brightly marked and more reflective than an airport runway.

“However, driving Seabeck Highway home in the dark last night from the Bremerton direction was like trying to navigate a wet black sea.

“I could barely see a center line or shoulder stripes — and oncoming traffic glare made for a pretty nerve-wracking couple of miles.  Maybe the crews put down temporary ‘first coat’ markings but haven’t gotten back for the final application? Otherwise whatever they did hasn’t lasted.

“I know it’s the wrong time of year for a re-stripe (something sorely needed on ALL our roads out this way) but maybe the county road crews could slap down a few dozen more reflectors in all directions to help until spring.”

The out basket: Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer says, “We have not noticed the problem encountered by your reader. The newly paved section of Seabeck Highway is marked the same as other roads with that speed and federal functional class.

“The road is striped with fresh paint, double coated, for both the yellow centerline and white edge lines. Raised reflective pavement markers are on the centerline to improve visibility.  The markers are spaced the same as on all other county roads.

“In addition to added visibility for the centerline, the markers also improve the visibility during rainy weather.  Water on the road tends to degrade the reflectivity of the paint making it much more difficult to see.  The markers help counter this problem by their height above the standing water.

“Of note in visibility issues during rainy weather is the pavement itself. New pavement is very dark and reflects little to no light.  This makes the roadway more difficult to see and adding the water from the rain makes the painted lines hard to see.  As a road ages and sees wear and tear from vehicles, the small stones in the asphalt start to wear through and reflect some light making roads easier to see.

“We restripe all county-maintained roads each year,” he added, though as Kathryn suggested, not this time of year.

2 thoughts on “New markings on new Seabeck Highway pavement called inadequate

  1. Maybe the driver should turn on their headlights and not rely on the little driving lights that come on automatically with the new vehicles. I know that it is a stretch accusing the writer of driving with no headlights on, but that seems to be the thing now days. People driving on the roads, especially in the rain with their headlights off or they might just turn on their fog lights. Or just don’t turn them on at all. Which I to this day don’t understand why people drive with no lights on. Especially in the rain. I was taught that if the wipers go on, so do the lights.
    BUt if there is any place that has bad striping, it is the area on hwy 303. As you drive around the ridgetop area of 303 you can see that the striping in not straight or they just completely missed their mark. As you get off on Ridgetop, you can clearly see that the stripers went to wide on the off-ramp. So it looks like the striping has a big hump, and what I notice is the drivers out there who are afraid to drive on stripes, will take sort of a weird turn to get off. Around Central Valley you can see the stripers guide marks on the road and their stripes are completely off in a lot of spots. Now most people or drivers don’t pay attention to those little things, but as someone who works on the highways and roads and deal with stripers all the time, I know what to look for. And all the residual droplets and splatters around their directional arrows on Central Valley, making it look like the arrows are bleeding (LOL), that would be unsat for the company I work for. It comes from overflows and big drips from the portable machine. Now I know that drips happen, but they can and should have been popped up after the paint dried or laid cardboard or a drop cloth around the work area like most companies I see do.

    There used to be a clear 6inch wide stripe on the turning lane to go down Ridgetop when you exited off 303 to turn right that is to my knowledge keeps drivers from jumping across to NW Sid Uhnick Dr. It used to be pretty bright so to say, before they started the road work. Cant really tell if they intentally take it out or just did not restripe it afterthey paved. And why don’t they put up a sign the tells traffic that they don’t need to stop since Ridgetop is 2 lanes. Anytime I need to go down Ridgetop, it takes so much time because most vehicles stop in a non stop lane to wait on traffic to clear before they go. Maybe if they put in a few permanent marker sticks that shows a divide between the lanes on that turn would maybe keep traffic moving down the hill. Be nice if they could fix this. Traffic is bad enough with Bucklin Hill closed. Something simple to fix to help move traffic.

  2. I was driving that same stretch a week or so ago right after one of the wind storms and the groves where the reflectors are, were filled with needles rendering the reflector useless. This is probably why she thought they were spaced very far apart. There was long enough stretch filled in that it caught my attention to actually think about it. I understand why the county puts the reflectors in the groves now, but I wonder if they thought about them being obstructed in heavily treed areas. We do get more wind storms than snow these days.

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