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March 2013

Welcome to our March 2013 newsletter. This month we talk about highway paint striping, get an update on the Sanpoil, and share a customer letter.

As always, if you have any questions on items in this newsletter, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Give me a call at (509) 324-6010 or drop me an e-mail at: .

Keith Metcalf
Regional Administrator
WSDOT Eastern Region

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Highway paint striping

A sure sign of spring is the beginning of the WSDOT highway paint striping or “marking” program.

Pavement markings around the Eastern Region are damaged and in some cases obliterated by winter plowing, studded tires, and the abrasive effects of traction sand and chains. The Eastern Region Striping Crew will begin operations soon as weather conditions for painting is improving to re-establish/refresh the pavement markings on approximately 4,000 lane miles of state routes. The routes range from the Canadian Border on the north to Snake River on the south; from the western Ferry/Lincoln/Adams County lines on the west to the Idaho border on the east.

Initial efforts will be centered on the high volume routes grouped around Spokane and then the crew will start in the south and move north. This pattern allows the heavily traveled routes to be hit first and then utilizes the warmer temperatures that occur first in the southern portion of the region.

To successfully apply the water based paint the pavement needs to be dry and temperatures of about 50 degrees or more. As a result, a cool wet spring delays painting but a warm dry spring results in quicker progress. It takes the single striping truck/crew the full summer and fall to visit all the lanes miles in the region. As a result some northern areas may not see the striping activity until late summer and or even fall.

The crew expertly applies an average of 85,000 gallons of paint a year. In addition, separate crews work to re-establish intersection markings. These localized crews work with similar constraints and as the weather warms and dries, intersections on state routes around Spokane and surrounding areas will be remarked. A few intersections such as Hawthorne Road and Division Street (US 395), Hastings Road and Division (US 395) and Farwell Road and US 2 received funding from the Legislature last year for "Permanent" marking. After one year, these "ground in" high durability markings are looking great. They are expensive, but provide year round pavement marking for the traveling public.

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M/V Sanpoil vessel update

Sanpoil under construction

As we mentioned last month, our new Keller ferry route vessel, the M/V (Motor Vessel) Sanpoil is under construction in Grand Coulee. The three major hull sections are now on site and in the construction shelter. The port and starboard “wing” sections have been lifted and placed in position with the crew now welding them together. They also are placing the bow and stern segments of the hull/car deck. The pilot house is still being fabricated in the Foss Maritime, Rainier, Oregon boat yard and will be the next major component to be trucked to Grand Coulee.

The vessel is scheduled to enter service in mid-August.

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A special customer letter

It’s always pleasing to receive a message like this:

“I just wanted to tell the WSDOT thank you so much for the Spokane-Cheney interchange that is being built. We just moved to that area and I always feel nervous pulling onto Highway 195 because I have to cross lanes of fast moving traffic. I have two small children which makes me even more safety conscious, so I am very very thankful that the work being done there will make things safer for me and my family. Thanks!!!!!!”


Thank you, K.