Skip to main content
King County logo

Nov. 7, 2017

Adopt-A-Road Safety Training

! Never enter the roadway to pick up trash

Jeremey Ferguson, Roads Maintenance Manager, narrator

[Music plays.] Hi, I'm Jeremy Ferguson, I'm the Road Maintenance Manager for King County Road Services Division. I want to thank you for volunteering in the Adopt-A-Road Program. Each year, thousands of bags of litter and all kinds of other debris is picked up alongside King County roads. This helps keep our King County road system safe and clean for the environment. The safety of our volunteers is first priority at the Adopt-A-Road Program. We want to help make your cleanup experience as rewarding as possible. Thank you for your service to our community. King County is a beautiful place to live, work and play. We appreciate your help in keeping our roadways litter free.

Your adoption application has been approved and you're ready to get started. So now what? Contact the Adopt-A-Road staff at least two weeks in advance of your desired clean-up date to make sure safety kits are available for your group at a Roads Maintenance shop convenient for you. The Adopt-A-Road Program staff will also provide you with an Active Participant Roster listing the volunteers who have completed an Individual Participant Release Form and are approved to participate in the scheduled clean-up. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old and complete an Individual Participant Release Form and renew the form on an annual basis in order to participate in clean-ups on behalf of the Adopt-A-Road Program. A day or two before your scheduled clean-up, go to the pre-arranged Maintenance Shop and pick up the safety kits reserved for your group.

Equipment. The proper equipment is needed to do the job right. Each safety kit contains supplies for ten volunteers. These supplies include: High Visibility Vests - be sure to wear these vests at all times when you are on a cleanup. Hard Hats - adjust the hard hat to fit your head and wear the hat at all times. Gloves - these do not need to be returned. A First Aid Kit. A Safety Beacon Light. A "Volunteer Litter Crew Ahead" Sign. And of course, Litter Bags. There will also be two Litter Pickup Sticks in each kit for volunteers with limited mobility. Volunteers may want to bring their own pickup tools to augment the supply. It's also important for volunteers to wear appropriate clothing. Sturdy shoes or boots, no sandals or flip-flops please. A long-sleeved shirt, long pants. Light colored clothing also increases your visibility. Other helpful items to bring along include sunglasses, sunscreen, a cell phone, and plenty of water to drink. Avoid over exertsion and over-heating by drinking plenty of water and taking breaks. Clean-up activities should only be performed during daylight hours and when weather is condusive to good visibility. If it's rainy or foggy, do not clean your road. Instead, call the Adopt-A-Road Program staff and reschedule your clean-up. Also avoid peak traffic hours and stay clear of all construction areas.

At the clean-up. It's a good idea for group leaders to drive or walk the route in advance. Note the condition of the road and any spots that need extra clean-up attention or should be avoided by volunteers, like steep embankments, areas with blind curves or narrow shoulders, or places where suspicious or hazardous materials may have been dumped. Before each clean-up, all volunteers must review the Adopt-A-Road Safety Rules, and then must sign the Work Day Release and Clean-up Results Form. Make sure your group leader knows about any allergies or physical limitations you may have. Meet at an offsite location to allow all volunteers to review the safety procedures and sign the Release Form. Once everyone has their safety gear, carpool out to the work site to minimize the number of vehicles on the roadside. Pull vehicles far off the road in a safe, visible area.

Safety. Be seen, be safe. Clean only one side of the road at a time and walk facing oncoming traffic. Place the warning sign facing approaching traffic on the side of the roadway being cleaned. Set the safety beacon on a parked car near the sign to provide an additional warning to motorists. Walk in groups to increase visibility. Never assume a driver sees you. Wear your high visibility vest and hard hat at all times when on a clean-up.

Be careful. Always keep safety in mind. Never enter the roadway to pick-up trash. Be prepared for any unexpected behavior of motorists and don't distract drivers by waving at them or engaging in horseplay. Don't stand or jump on guardrails, drainage pipes or concrete walls. Keep your attention focused on your job and the environment around you. It's important to be able to hear others in your group and approaching traffic, so leave all portable music players at home. And please, no alcoholic beverages before or during your clean-up.

If it's unknown, leave it alone. Don't pick up hazardous materials such as car batteries, petroleum products or other chemicals, heavy or unwieldy objects, dead animals, broken glass, needles and drug paraphernalia, or any unidentifed questionable items. Make a note of their location and report these items to the Adopt-A-Road Program staff. If the materials are an immediate concern, please contact the King County Road Helpline at 206-477-8100. This number is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you find any suspicious items, our primary concern is your safety. Stay away from these items and make sure everyone in your group stays away from them too. Possible hazardous materials include fertilizer, flammable solvents, concentrated herbicides, insecticides, or by-products of amphetamine or other drug laboratories. Items that are suspected of containing hazardous chemicals or human waste shall be left untouched. The Group Coordinator will notify the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator of any found public health hazards. Some of these substances may be in containers with identifying labels. Key words to look for on labels are CAUTION, WARNING and DANGER. Other substances may be unknown and transferred to identifiable containers such as milk jugs or bleach bottles.

Use common sense. If in doubt, back away. Do not handle or attempt to move these materials. If you encounter any waste drums or containers that are visibly leaking or open, please call the 24/7 Roads Helpline at 206-477-8100 immediately. Call 911 to report the problem if you believe it is an emergency.

Other tips. Please do not remove political campaign or other signs while performing your clean-up. If you are concerned they are posted illegally in the road right-of-way, contact the Adopt-A-Road staff. Signs that are lying on the ground are considered trash and are okay to remove. Use only the provided King County trash bags. Don't overfill trash bags and be sure no objects are protruding from them. Pile full litter bags in visible areas well off the traveled portion of the road, along the shoulder. Pile other debris that doesn't fit in the trash bags in a visible spot off the roadway. Flag the location of items that are too heavy or bulky to move, like appliances, mattresses or tires, especially if they are not readily visible from the road. This helps road maintenance crews find them and dispose of them properly.

Post clean-up. The Safety Kits must be returned to Roads Maintenance Shop within two business days after the clean-up. There are a number of limited kits that are shared by every group in the county, so please don't keep your kits longer than necessary. After your clean-up, be sure to fill out the Clean Up Results portion of the Work Day Release Form and send it in to the Adopt-A-Road staff. Following your first clean-up, submit a Recognition Sign Request Form so that the Volunteer Recognition Sign for your group can be installed.

Let's review. Plan ahead. Contact the Adopt-A-Road Problem staff at least two weeks in advance to schedule a clean-up. Reserve the correct number of safety kits for your group, and receive the current Active Participant Roster for your group. Remember to think safety first. Watch the weather. Litter clean-up should not be completed when snow, ice or other adverse weather conditions are present. Be seen, be safe. Wear the high visibility vest, hard hat and gloves provided in the Safety Kit. Park off the road and use the warning sign and safety beacon. Be careful. Do not enter the roadway. Clean-up only along your approved route. Work on only one sign of the road at a time and walk facing on-coming traffic. No horseplay, headphones or alcohol. If you find a potentially hazardous container or unknown substance, leave it alone and call the Adopt-A-Road Program staff or the Roads Helpline. We appreciate your hard work. Your contribution as a volunteer makes King County a better place to live. Stay alert, think safety first, and you'll have a successful clean-up. You do make a difference!

October 13, 2017

Baring Bridge reopened Oct. 13, 2017. Ahead of schedule.

John Wright, Project Manager at KPFF Consulting Engineers, narrator

[Music plays.] [John Wright, Project Manager at KPFF Consulting Engineers speaks.] We're over the Skykomish River here up in Baring. King County Roads was assessing the condition of the bridge deck, and they thought while they were doing that, they should look at the condition of the stringers. And so they did some drill tests and got some disturbing results back. And so that's why we're replacing the main structural portions of the bridge -- the stringers and possibly any floor beams that we find that are in bad condition and then replacing the deck. I feel particularly fortunate, because this is just a spectacular place to work, and particularly on a day like this, there's just no better place. So, ah, this is my office. [Text appears: Learn more about this and other projects at]

April 10, 2017

NE 124th Street slide

Jeremey Ferguson, Traffic and Roads Maintenance Section Manager, narrator

[Music plays, King County logo is displayed.]  [King County Road Services Maintenance Manager, Jeremy Ferguson speaks.] We’re out here at NE 124th Street near Duvall, this is our first day of construction on the road repair for 124th.  We’re going to be relocating some drainage and fiber optic lines, getting them out of the way, then we’re going to get down onto the slide area behind me and we’ll be working 10-12 hour days, six days a week for about the next three to three and a half weeks to dig out the slide debris, bring in new rock, and do some plantings and then come in finally with gravel and asphalt. And hopefully get this road restored to two lanes. Throughout this project our priority is maintaining emergency access for the community above. There’s about 150 homes at the top of this hill and we want to make sure that the fire districts, the school districts and emergency responders can get in and out and access as well as providing the daily commute options for the citizens that live at the top of the hill.  So we committed to keeping one lane open almost all the time.  We’ve limited our construction to 30 minute periods of road closure to make sure that people can still get in and out of their homes.   Learn more about this and other projects at [Music fades - end.]

March 2017

Novelty Hill Road repairs

[Music plays, King County logo displayed.]  [Video of pavement grinding machine at work.] Text displayed: Location - Selection locations on NE Novelty Hill Road from 208th Avenue NE to West Snoqualmie Valley Road NE.  Text displayed: King County Road Services crews are grinding out sections of crumbling asphalt and replacing them with hot mix asphalt (temporary square-cut patching). [Video of crew member behind grinder, crew members with shovels, machine laying hot mix asphalt which crews with shovels spread into newly cut sections of road.] Text displayed: This work is a necessary interim solution to keep the road safe until a permanent asphalt repair can be done in spring or summer of 2017. Text displayed: Learn more about this and other projects at [Music fades - end.]

April 10, 2017

NE 169th Place road repair

Jeremey Ferguson, Traffic and Roads Maintenance Section Manager, narrator

[King County logo displays, then Jeremy Ferguson is shown on the scene.]  We're out on NE 169th Place with our division maintenance crews as they do some grinding and asphalt repair work on this road that was significantly impacted by winter weather. What's created some issues out here is the water under the roadway. [Video of water running on newly ground-up road.]  This water finds the path of least resistance, and in the winter time when the water freezes, then when it it expands and it thaws and contracts, then what you see is the result here—the asphalt looks like alligator skin, we call it "alligatoring"—and in some parts where we get potholes that boil up and break open, we call those "frost boils." [Video shows cracked asphalt road.]  So the repair work that we're doing here today is grinding out the alligatored section of roadway [Video: Grinding machine at work] and these frost boils, we'll lay some new gravel, and some geotechnical fabric and then we'll come over the top of that with fresh hot mix asphalt. [Video: Paving machine with crews laying hot mix asphalt.] Text displayed: Learn more about this and other projects at

April 12, 2017

Duvall road bridge repairs

Jeremey Ferguson, Traffic and Roads Maintenance Section Manager, narrator

[Music plays, King County logo is displayed, then Jeremy Ferguson is shown on scene beneath a short span bridge.] So we are standing out underneath one of the short span bridges on the Woodinville-Duvall Road just outside of the city of Duvall. [Video of cars going over the short span bridge.]  Woodinville-Duvall Road is made up of a number of these short span bridges that you see behind me that we have to do maintenance work on in the summertime. [Video of grasses and water under bridge and of the bridge abutments.]  Because of the water rising and falling throughout the season, it scours out the bridge abutments and occasionally we have to come in and do some work on either side of it to prevent the settlement of the pavement before the bridge abutments, [video of cracks on bridge deck] so in the summer we're going to dig in, do some replacement of materials, wrap gravel in some geotechnical fabric like a burrito, pack it back in and repave so it creates a smooth transition. [Video of rocks under bridge.] Text displayed: Learn more about this and other projects at [Music plays and fades out - end.]

Dec. 8, 2016

King County Road Services preparing for snow & ice

Tony Ledbetter, Field Operations Manager, Traffic and Roads Maintenance Section, narrator

[Music plays and King County logo is displayed.] My name is Tony Ledbetter, I'm the Field Operations Manager for King County. [Video of de-icer/sander truck in maintenance yard.] We've already been in this cold snap for a few days so we've been out watching the roadways, we been watching weather reports, we've been putting anti-icer on the roadway and also sanding and salting some of those spots where anti-icer won't work. What this does is buy us some time head of the snow falling, so until it's diluted enough, it will actually prohibit the forming of ice on the roadway. What we want to do with the salt is have it hit the roadway where it forms little pockets and that allows the grit of the sand that we mix with it to actually stay on the roadway, because sand itself, it's frozen, it hits the frozen roadway and it acts like marbles. So what salt does, it's just like when you were a kid putting salt on an ice cube, it cuts its way in a little bit, makes a little pocket, and helps put some grit on that roadway so cards don't slip as much. [Music fades - end.]

Call us:

206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237 (1-800-KC-ROADS)


Send us an email.