So long as the weather cooperates, residents living along Houston Mesa Road will see stripes on their stretch of road by next week.
The road has been without stripes for weeks causing confusion, said Steve Sanders, deputy director of public works for Gila County.
He approved a bid this week to put temporary striping onto the road. He hopes that by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, if the road remains dry, temporary painted stripes can guide drivers on the roadway. Good thing, because some have had trouble without stripes to show them the way.
“I heard that two neighbors swiped their mirrors off each other’s cars because they drove too close together,” said Supervisor Tommie Martin.
The trouble started when the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) identified the Houston Mesa Road as a high-risk rural road. Federal funds then became available to update the safety of the roads, said Sanders.
A positive thing, except the county hoped to stripe the road with thermal plastic. This type of striping melts into the pavement, lasts longer than regular paint and reflects light for better visibility — all of which increases safety. However, the price tag for this type of striping is high, so ADOT offers a grant, said Martin.
The grant process turned out to take much longer than expected, causing the county to place temporary stickers on the road.
These stickers haven’t provided enough direction for drivers, though. Residents want more, said Martin.
The county hopes ADOT will award them the grant for the thermal plastic striping by the spring, said Sanders.
Until then, the paint job will keep drivers safely between the lines.