The West Plains is getting a new roundabout. The Cheney Free Press reports that, as part of a larger repaving project on State Route 902 between I-90 and the city of Medical Lake, the roundabout will be built at the intersection with Craig Road.

Data from  2012 through 2016 shows there were 24 collisions, with 28 injuries, at the intersection during that time period. One of the collisions was a fatality, one was serious, there were three minor injuries and 10 possible injuries.

Of the crashes, 19 involved vehicles colliding at angles. When used correctly, roundabouts prevent that as cars can only rear-end the vehicle in front of them, reducing the severity of crashes and damage.

Construction is expected to start in mid-June after school is out. It will involve closing the intersection for 72 hours at some point, although a specific date has not been set yet. The entire project, including paving and the roundabout, is budgeted at around $2 million.

The Cheney Free Press says the impetus for installation of the roundabout comes from a Spokane Tribe traffic study that was part of their NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) approval process for the casino. The study was required because of the possibility of an increase in traffic on Craig coming to and from the casino. The Spokane Tribe is contributing about $110,000 to the project.

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