In June 17th 2009 Needham Fire Chief Kevin Hosler requested a meeting with TXDOT officials, River Plantation Fire Chief Randy Oliver and several reporters in an attempt to slow the serious accidents on SH 242 near the San Jacinto River Bridge. This was just after a head-on double fatality accident in which one vehicle crossed the centerline just east of the San Jacinto River Bridge near Stone Crest. The TXDOT engineer at the time said she would have to do a traffic study and determine a need. In addition since SH 242 was fairly new and a porous material was used to help water quickly drain off the road surface. Due to this she did not feel rumble strips could be put down.
In the next few days the rumble strips will be done on SH 242 from Lexington Drive to US 59. Crossing them will get your attention quickly.
Tonight Chief Hosler said he was a bit annoyed about the red tape to get this project done but now hopes it will save some lives.
TXDOT first started using rumble strips on the edge of the road. The Federal Highway Administration reports that run-off-the-road accidents account for a third of all traffic deaths in the US. In 2000, almost 16,000 traffic fatalities were attributed to these type crashes at a taxpayer cost of almost $80 billion a year.
Fatigue, drowsiness, and driver inattention play a significant factor in these single-vehicle crashes. In 1998, the National Sleep Foundation reported that more than 52% of all adults surveyed in the past year had driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy.
TxDOT is addressing this problem with rumble strips. When tires cross these raised or grooved patterns along the edges of a roadway, drivers hear a loud rumble and feel a strong vibration to alert them that they are leaving the main lane. Research indicates the use of rumble strips can reduce run-off-the-road crashes up to 50 percent.
The strips cost less than 12 cents a foot and are installed during initial construction or later. TxDOT often puts rumble strips along rural interstate and multi-lane divided highways, which tend to have a higher incidence of one-car accidents. In addition to being cost-effective, rumble strips provide savings to taxpayers by helping reduce these types of crashes.
Then back in August of 2010 several bids were approved for around Montgomery County to install rumble strips.
Today crews started at the Harris County Montgomery County line and ground 5.4 miles of FM 1485 to Loop 494 at a cost of $31,379 which was almost $20, 200 below estimates. They did not stop there they started up again at Kidd Cemetery Road and worked all the way to SH 105, 16.2 miles, at a cost of $118, 093, again almost $75,000 below estimates. All this was complete in one day with next to no traffic delays.
Other rumble strip projects are:
|HWY 75||WALKER CO TO||ROGERS RD||$75,741||$46,328|
|SH105||GRIMES CNTY||PLANTERSVILLE RD||$90,307||$54,846|
|SH105||WHIPPORWILL||SAN JAC LINE||$151,012||$91,260|
|SH105||MONT CO LINE||SAN JAC LINE||$55,641||$32,899|
|FM1097||FM 149||IH45||$183, 289||$110,322|
|FM 1314||CREIGHTON||STOWE RD||$70,265||$43,385|
|FM2978||FM1488||HARRIS COUNTY LINE||$107,177||$63,174|
In addition a center left turn lane at SH 105 and Duck Creek. Widen FM149 with additional paved surface width from Keenan Cutoff to FM 1488.