By Lyndsie Kiebert
Bonner County commissioners have approved a grant application from the Road and Bridge Department requesting funds from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to pay for new and improved LED stop signs throughout the county.
Road and Bridge Staff Engineer Matt Mulder presented the application before the commissioners Dec. 15, sharing that improved signage at local intersections would likely reduce frequent accidents.
“Looking at the cached data over the past five years, we see a pattern of accidents where people failed to obey stop signs, resulting in a couple fatalities and a lot of serious injuries throughout the county,” Mulder said, “especially at our higher-speed intersections with arterials and state highways.”
The new stop signs, which come complete with flashing LED lights and radar capabilities, would be paid for with $815,000 from LHTAC’s Local Highway Safety Improvement Program.
“These would be radar controlled and solar powered, so they would start flashing as the car approaches, and [it flashes] faster and faster if it doesn’t see that car slowing down at the stop sign,” Mulder said.
The new stop signs would be larger than the signs currently in use, increasing from 36 inches across to 48 inches. Mulder said the grant would also cover the cost of advance warning signs that read “stop sign ahead” at all intersections in the county that don’t yet have them, as well as the cost for a contractor to install all the new signs.
“These have been proven to [create] a pretty good reduction in accidents at stop signs,” he said.
If awarded the grant, Bonner County would be on the hook to pay a 7.34% match of about $60,000. The LHTAC funds for this particular project are for use during the 2023 fiscal year.
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