The Fleshman Way and State Route-129 Interchange project has been on the minds of County leaders for a long time. Public Works Director Jim Bridges said it has been identified as the most important transportation project in the Valley for years.
“Traffic coming over the Southway Bridge, going to Lewiston or coming from Clarkston, and trying to get off of State Route-129 has been a huge safety problem,” said Bridges.
Bridges said a lot of time and money have been invested into figuring out how to solve this problem, but now they have found a cheaper and more efficient way to do that. Their original plan was going to cost between $9,000,000 and $11,000,000 and it would have been a big hassle for drivers. Bridges expects this new design to cost between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000, and drivers will be able to cross the bridge during construction.
“Basically we’re building roundabouts on both sides of the state highway and on and off ramps to the bridge,” said Bridges.
Bridges said if all goes well, he expects the project to start in 2016 and take no longer than six months to complete.
Asotin County Commissioners approved a request for $299,000 to pay for revisions to the old design maps. The revision could take several months to do. Once it is done the design has to get approved by leaders from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Commissioner Chair, Jim Fuller, said this plan is a major step forward and a better alternative for drivers.
The project is expected to cost no more than $5,000,000. The County’s portion of the bill would be 13.5% of total funds from the Surface Transportation Program. Bridges said the bulk of the project should be covered by State and Federal grants.