The Washington state Department of Transportation has received about $2 million in grants to begin design work and right-of-way acquisitions for a planned $10.5 million interchange at U.S. 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road, in southwest Spokane.
The planned interchange would be built about four miles south of Interstate 90 at a busy intersection that has been the scene of many collisions, including a fatal accident. The DOT has made a request to the governor's office for funds to complete the project, and if the project makes it to Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, the 2011 Legislature would consider funding the project, says DOT spokesman Al Gilson.
In the meantime, the grants the DOT received for the project, from the Washington state Traffic Safety Commission, will pay for preliminary design and five parcels of land the DOT needs for the interchange, Gilson says.
The junction of U.S. 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road is ranked first in the state on a list of intersections needing safety projects, says a 2010 Traffic Safety Commission document.
It says a 10-year collision history shows 99 collisions there, with one fatality, six serious injuries, 14 evident injuries, and 28 possible injuries resulting from collisions.
The DOT plans to build what's called a half-diamond interchange there that will include an overpass just north of the intersection, used by traffic entering and exiting the northbound lanes, and curving around west of the highway almost 180 degrees to connect to Cheney-Spokane Road, the DOT's Web site shows.
The interchange at U.S. 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road is the first of four safety projects the DOT has planned along U.S. 195.
The three other projects involve an underpass at 16th Avenue, an overpass at Thorpe Road, and interchanges at Meadowlane Road and at Hatch Road. None of those projects have been funded, Gilson says.
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