Crews launch ‘striping season’ on local roads

April 23, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. April 23, 2011

The state Department of Transportation is planning a makeover for the yellow and white stripes along local roads to combat the fading from a harsh winter.

The agency recently launched “striping season” and reminded motorists to watch for wet paint on Puget Sound-area highways.

Through October, crews plan to lay down more than 4,500 miles of striping on both roadway and ramp lanes between the King-Pierce county line and the Canadian border.

Adding a fresh coat of reflective paint during the drier months makes the stripes for drivers to see the road when winter rains return.

“Next to snow and ice removal, striping is our top safety priority,” Richard Lucero, the agency’s assistant superintendent for traffic maintenance and operations, said in a release. “Each gallon of paint contains thousands of tiny glass reflector beads to help increase visibility during dark, rainy conditions.”

Lucero reminds motorists  to allow striping crews plenty of room and to watch for wet paint signs on local highways. Though the agency uses fast-drying, water-based paint, driving over fresh stripes or changing lanes behind a striping truck strips the reflectivity from the stripe and spatters paint onto the vehicles.

“Crews have a lot of striping to put down within a very short window of time,” Lucero said. “In most cases we will not be able to repaint stripes smeared by vehicles until spring 2012.”

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