County of Marin - News Releases - Roadway Safety Grants

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2015

County Awarded $3.2M in Roadway Safety Grants

Federal money to be used on stretches of rural roads

San Rafael, CA – The federal government has awarded the County of Marin $3.2 million in grants under its Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), and the money is targeted for improved signage on several roads and construction upgrades on rural stretches of Lucas Valley Road, Panoramic Highway and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.

An electronic road sign displays a moving vehicle's speed limit on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near San Quentin State Prison. The signage was part of a recent HSIP grant.An electronic road sign displays a vehicle's speed on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near San Quentin State Prison. The signage was part of a recent HSIP grant.
The Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) was awarded the grants under the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The HSIP grants are designed to help municipalities reduce serious injuries and fatalities on all public roads. Marin DPW submitted HSIP applications for stretches of roads that had track records of crashes or showed significant crash potential.

The four projects are:

  • curve realignment on Lucas Valley Road, just east of Big Rock at milepost 5.08 (estimated project cost $1,207,500); 
  • improvement to roadway safety signage on major county roads (estimated project cost $544,500);
  • installation of 1,500 feet of guardrail on Panoramic Highway west of Pantoll Campground between mile post 6.7 and 8.8 (estimated project cost $434,340), and;
  • downhill skid-resistant pavement resurfacing and dynamic variable speed warning signs on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near White Hill between mile post 8.6 and 9.53 (estimated project cost $1,084,700).

Preliminary engineering and environmental review for the projects will begin in spring 2016, and project construction is scheduled to start in summer 2018.

Robert Goralka, a County Principal Civil Engineer, said the new HSIP grant allocation is a substantial increase in the amount Marin has received in previous years. Over the past seven years, the County had received $615,000 through the HSIP program for road safety improvement projects.

“The HSIP grants are an essential funding source,” he said. “They enable us to provide road safety improvements at locations with high collision rates that would not be possible with just local monies.”

Recent County-funded projects include: a guardrail on Point Reyes Petaluma Road near Nicasio Valley Road; a guardrail and curve warning speed feedback signs on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near San Quentin State Prison; and intersection improvements at the Redwood Frontage Road/De Silva Island Court/Highway 101 southbound onramp and offramp in Strawberry.

In the interest of safety, the Marin County Board of Supervisors has made road and infrastructure upgrades a high priority in recent years. Since 2006, DPW has invested $50 million in roads to improve pavement quality and safety. It resurfaced 50 percent of County-maintained roads (423 miles) and boosted the Pavement Condition Index from 50 to 60, but an index of 60 is only considered “fair.” DPW proposes to resurface another 31 percent of its most-used roads (261 miles) before 2020. 


Dan Dawson
Interim Transportation Planning & Traffic Division Manager
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6287
Email: Dan Dawson
DPW website