Center rumble strip planned for Riverside Road

Washington County is getting some state money to make Riverside Road — also known as County Road W61 — safer.

County Engineer Jacob Thorius told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that the county will be getting $88,000 to add centerline rumble strips on Riverside Road, from County Road G36 (220th Street) to the bridge over the English River just south of Riverside.

“Centerline rumble strips reduce the risk of head-on collisions significantly,” Thorius said, noting that, although the state highways have centerline rumble strips, Washington County has not previously incorporated them into its roads.

“My first priority has been paved shoulders with rumble strips,” Thorius said.

He said that, generally, drivers tend to drift to the right, toward the shoulder of the road.

He acknowledged, though, that head-on collisions are generally more severe accidents.

Thorius said that drivers are more apt to complain about centerline rumble strips than the rumble strips on the road shoulders.

Supervisor Stan Stoops said that, as an older person who has vision issues, he appreciates the added safety of centerline rumble strips.

“I like them being there,” Stoops said.

Thorius said that the state first proposed adding the centerline rumble strips on Riverside Road a couple years ago when the county applied for $500,000 to pay for a shoulder paving project on the road.

“The DOT said that they wanted us to do centerline rumble strips at the same time,” he said. “I pushed back on that. I told them we couldn’t afford to do that.”

This year, the state came back with the $88,000 offer.

Thorius said that such a project would cost between $85,000 and $95,000, adding that he would not know a more specific cost until a bid is let for the project.

“We’re responsible for anything over $88,000,” Thorius said. “If it’s less, we just don’t get all the money.”

Supervisors gave their unanimous approval to move forward with the project.