The District of Saanich is piloting a new method of marking road lines using thermoplastic. (Photo via the District of Saanich)

Saanich pilots new, highly reflective road markings

Inlaid thermoplastic lines replaced traditional paint in three locations

The District of Saanich is piloting a new method of marking road lines in three different locations.

Residents may have noticed road lines are more reflective in the newly paved areas on McKenzie Avenue and Wilkinson Road. This is because Saanich’s engineering department chose to install a new type of highly reflective thermoplastic instead of the traditional painted lines.

Harley Machielse, director of engineering, explained the thermoplastic has glass beads in it to make it highly reflective which will make night driving safer.

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The lines were installed over the summer during paving projects on Wilkinson Road between Greenlea Drive and West Saanich Road and on McKenzie Avenue between Long Gun Place and Braefoot Road and from Quadra Street to Saanich Road. Grooves were ground into the new pavement and the plastic was poured in so the road surface remains smooth.

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Thermoplastic road lines aren’t new and the material has even been used in Saanich to mark stop lines, Machielse explained, but the inlay technique is innovative and will increase the longevity of the lines. He pointed out that now, when the snowplough goes over the street, the plastic won’t get chipped and pieces won’t end up in the waterways.

Machielse noted thermoplastic is more expensive than average road paint, but it is more durable and can be expected to last at least five times longer. The increased visibility will also make the roads safer through all seasons as paint often fades in the winter.

The pilot project will continue to be monitored and will be considered for other areas throughout Saanich.


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The new road lines in Saanich were accompanied by the installation of recessed reflectors. (Photo via the District of Saanich)

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