Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coming Soon: Striping improvements in Bellevue

By Guest Blogger Steve Peer

Lately we’ve received comments from drivers about the lane striping on southbound I-405 in Bellevue on a stretch of road between SE Eighth Street and I-90. The striping in the area has been a challenge for drivers, but rest assured, we’re doing everything we can to try to improve the lane visibility.



Here’s what happened:
As part of the South Bellevue Widening Project, we ground down the surface of the existing concrete to create a smoother and quieter surface. However, grinding the surface exposed concrete that’s shinier and lighter in color. The lighter colored concrete caused the white lane markings to be less visible under specific weather conditions. In addition, during construction, crews shifted traffic into temporary lanes to keep traffic moving. Unfortunately, when the temporary lanes were removed, some “ghost” striping was still visible. This “ghosting” along with the lighter concrete, has caused unusual and, at times, difficult driving experiences for motorists.

We’ve already taken steps to modify this situation and will continue to work on a solution until the problem is fixed.


Here’s what we’re doing:
Several weeks ago we added a black accent stripe to define the white lane striping against the light grey concrete.  Doing this helped, but not nearly as much as expected. Our next option is to add a thick black border around each white lane stripe to further enhance lane visibility against the lighter concrete.

We hope this will solve the problem. If not, we’ll continue to find new solutions to improve the visibility of the lane striping.

We appreciate all of your comments and look forward to improving this section of roadway.  We take each comment into consideration as we work to safely and efficiently operate and improve our highways to keep you moving around our state.

Dry nights means closed lanes for drivers:
To add the black lane stripe borders, crews need a dry night to make sure the paint adheres to the pavement they’ll funnel traffic down to one lane to accomplish this so if you’re in the south Bellevue area at night during these closures, please slow down and give crews a brake

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why can't you just repave that section of highway? I realize that would be a tremendous expense, but given that you're aware of this problem with the lane markers, if, heaven forbid, there's an accident that claims someone's life, I can only imagine the settlement the WSDOT would need to make to that family would be even more costly.

markq said...

What hasn't been mentioned is that usually on a concrete road surface the seams in the concrete align fairly well with the lane markings, thus giving drivers more than one indication of where the white lines are. On this section of roadway, because it was widened on both sides, they don't. There are other sections of freeway where the lines don't match the seams in the concrete for the same reason, and these don't appear to be causing problems. I thought this section of concrete was also a quiet pavement test section, in addition to the asphalt sections in the northbound lanes. If it is a test section, was the concrete grinding method modified somehow so that the white lines are not as visible on that type of surface? I would agree with making the black lines more visible, as well as outlining the white lines with black, and see if that helps first.

Anonymous said...

Why was the contractor allowed to leave this section of roadway with such a miss-mash of markings and pavement joints? It seems like WSDOT is now spending more money to fix something they should have been responsible for. Ghost striping is not a new problem.

Barton said...

I feel a cheaper fix for this situation is to add reflectors to the pavement. there are reflectors in the northbound lanes along the same stretch of freeway. why not the southbound?

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