I90 on-ramp at Walnut may close in near future

SPOKANE, Wash. - The department of transportation is looking to improve safety along the interstate through downtown. 

One possible solution: closing the east bound on-ramp at Walnut.

Transportation officials say there is still a lot of studying to be done. They also want to hear from the community before any final decisions are made.

The department of transportation conducted a study and found that the walnut on-ramp had the highest number of collisions, compared to other on-ramps in the city. That data is driving officials to take a closer look at safety, and possible solutions.

Al Gilson, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation says, "The number of collisions on those ramps is something that bothers us. For instance that Walnut eastbound on-ramp has an average of 20 collisions a year -- that's not a good thing. It's way higher than any of the other ramps. It's also a very short ramp, so that bothers us a lot."

It's unclear if the on-ramp will stay, but other safety features are already in the works. The state is funding a third incident responder and will add more wrong way notification signs. The department of transportation is also looking at installing a traffic control light near the Highway 195, I-90 interchange.

However, many of those safety enhancements won't be in place until 2019.