More guardrails for county roads

Installation and repair of about one-half mile of guardrails will be completed in September and early October at eight high-risk locations on Orcas and San Juan islands.

Guardrail construction specialists Columbia River Contractors of Clackamas, Ore., will complete the projects at a total cost of just under $300,000, most of which will be paid for by a U.S. government Department of Transportation highway safety program.

On San Juan Island, guardrails are scheduled to be installed during the week of Sept. 23 on sections of Roche Harbor Road, West Valley Road and Beaverton Valley Road. A new guardrail along part of San Juan Valley Road is scheduled for installation the week of Sept. 30.

New guardrails will be installed on Orcas Road and Mount Baker/Terrill Beach roads the week of Sept. 9; guardrails for Crow Valley Road and Olga Road are scheduled for completion the week of Sept. 16.

Repairs on existing guardrails on Roche Harbor Road, West Valley Road and Beaverton Valley Road will be performed by the same contractor during approximately the same time period. These repairs, which are not funded by the federal government, are part of a continuing repair program which will be conducted on all county roads in the next few months.

The San Juan County Department of Public Works developed the new guardrail projects after reviewing county data that showed that 67 percent of single vehicle crashes involved running off the road. Analysis of these collisions determined places "where numerous vehicles leave the road and go over steep embankments, into bodies of water, and/or roll over. The eight most dangerous were chosen for installation of new guardrails.

The guardrails will be similar to most currently installed guardrails, and will have reflectors installed to guide motorists at night or in foggy or rainy conditions.

Public Works asked drivers to "be considerate of the construction workers, obey the flaggers and drive safely and slowly through the work zone."


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