Construction on additional Highway 195 passing lanes starts today

For WSU employees, Coug families, or anyone that travels from Spokane to Pullman: Wednesday starts a process to make your commute quicker and safer.

There’s been talk of adding passing lanes on highway 195 for years now because of how often serious, and sometimes deadly, crashes happen on the stretch of road that connects Pullman to Spokane.

A safety study done by the Washington State Department of Transportation showed that in the five year span between 2005 and 2009, there were almost 800 crashes on highway 195, and 16 of them were deadly.

Construction on additional Highway 195 passing lanes starts today

The Dept. of Transportation says the two-lane highway is prone to head-on collisions because of frustrated drivers trying to pass slower cars.

They hope a $4.1 million project to add five new passing lanes will reduce those deadly collisions.

The project, which begins with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, will add two northbound lanes and one southbound near Plaza, and a northbound lane near Trestle Creek Road.

The first two passing lanes, near Colfax, were finished last year in phase one of the project.

Drivers can expect delays through the area for most of the summer. The DOT hopes to have the project done before fall.

The project was funded through the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package.