New passing lanes coming to help travel on HWY 195 faster and safer

New passing lanes coming to help travel on HWY 195 faster and safer

Washington State Department of Transportation hopes that new passing lanes coming to Highway 195 will make travel between Spokane and Pullman safer and faster.

On Wednesday, the DOT held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on the second phase of the project. The whole project costs $6.6 million and saw the addition of two passing lanes last year.

People who drive Highway 195 daily are excited to see the project begin. They say Highway 195 is known for being dangerous.

“The amount of times I’ve had to pull off on the shoulder because I’ve almost gotten hit has been pretty extreme,” said Kacee Thompson, who drives the highway daily.

Thompson lives in Pullman to attend WSU, but she drives to Colfax daily for work. She also grew up in Colfax. She works at Colfax Body Repair, where she says they’ve had to tow many cars from dangerous wrecks often. She’s also had some personal experience with the heartbreaking outcome those wrecks can bring.

“Recently I had a student that I went to high school with pass away on that road,” Thompson said.

The project will make a big impact on WSU students. The administration recently spoke to students on campus and found out that highway safety was their second biggest concern.

“Coming back from breaks, coming back for school year after the summer, there’s just so many cars and people are passing and it’s just very dangerous,” said WSU Student Body President Jordan Frost.

A WSU student was killed while traveling back home to Spokane in November 2015. Drivers say when the weather gets bad, Highway 195 becomes even more treacherous.

They hope these new lanes will make that travel safer. Thompson says she also hopes it will cut down on the reckless driving.

“I’m a very cautious driver, so I’ve never had any close calls. But, I’ve definitely witnessed some and I’ve had friends that have too,” she said.