Matt Phelps Fay Lim
Communications Specialist II Communications Supervisor
High Friction Surface Treatment applications and 576 new signs to be installed in 2021
EVERETT, Wash., May 24, 2021 – Slowing to the posted speed limit, being alert to the changing road direction, and proper tire grip can make all the difference when driving a two-ton vehicle around a curve. Snohomish County is working this spring and summer on a Curve Remediation project to improve driving conditions on the curves of 20 separate rural roads by replacing or adding 576 signs and applying High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) to the pavement.
“Our residents’ safety is our top priority,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “We are always working to improve the safety of our roads and other transportation infrastructure, and this is one of the biggest safety projects of its type we have ever performed.”
The project follows the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, which is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation. The project is funded by a $1.3 million Highway Safety Improvement Project grant obtained by Snohomish County in 2020. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) selected the county Public Works project to receive the grant funding from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).
“It is always great to get a grant that supplements our county road fund dollars to assist with improvements and upgrades,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “This effort will replace 216 existing signs and add 360 signs to improve driving conditions at the selected locations. These locations were selected based on the curve geometry, speed limits and the average driver’s current actions when traveling the road. One of the biggest things is that the signs will convey a safe speed at which to take an upcoming curve.”
The new and replacement signage is aimed at giving drivers more warning of changing driving conditions and how to adjust their navigation. The sign remediation will treat numerous curves on 14 separate roads:
When Road Maintenance crews replace existing signs with new ones it is typically done to improve reflectiveness for nighttime driving. Signs that have been replaced are recycled.
The HFST is an innovative technology that enhances road-surface traction. A thin layer of specially engineered high friction aggregate is applied to the road surface producing long lasting skid resistance. Snohomish County has previously applied HFST to 17 separate locations around the county. This year’s HFST project will treat nine curves on six separate roads:
Temporary single-lane closures will be needed during the application of the HFST.
Snohomish County Public Works has received more than $8.1 million in HSIP funding during the past eight years. Those grants have funded previous HFST applications, eight enhanced pedestrian enhancement crossings, guard rails, and new signage.
About Snohomish County Public Works
Snohomish County Public Works is responsible for approximately 1,600 miles of county roads, more than 200 bridges and manages about 200 traffic control signals. The department also processes nearly 600,000 tons of garbage per year. Its mission is to focus on safety and mobility while practicing fiscal responsibility and preserving the environment. Public Works has won numerous state and national honors for its work and is the largest department within Snohomish County government with approximately 500 employees plus seasonal staff. Its main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. Visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks for more information about Snohomish County Public Works.