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By Teresa Simpson
Whitman County Gazette 

SR 26 and US 195 Colfax bridge replacement

WSDOT seeks feedback on bridge designs


December 15, 2022

Teren Kowatsch | The Gazette

Community members gather at The Center, Dec. 9, to view and listen to propositions for the replacement of the SR 26 and US 195 bridges.

COLFAX -The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is currently gathering public feedback concerning the replacement of twin bridges of US195 and SR 26 in Colfax.

The west structure of the SR 26 bridge was constructed in 1938, and the east structure US 195 was constructed in 1931. According to the WSDOT the bridges have come to the end of their service life, and are in need of significant repair. WSDOT is also currently working on plans for a new US 195 and SR 26 intersection to help all traffic flow more freely and efficiently.

Federal and state funding have prioritized these two bridges for replacement and intersection improvements.

The Whitman County Library hosted an open house Thursday, Dec. 8 at The Center for community members to speak with the WSDOT project team to discuss possible design options as well as bridge elements being considered for the State Route 26, and the intersection.

"We had quite a bit of feedback. We had a really good turn out between eighty and a hundred people," said WSDOT Communications Manager, Ryan Overton, noting that a lot of the local trucking and farming community showed up to provide feedback.

Overton explained that there was a questionnaire to fill out at the Colfax open house. Further explained that the feedback showed many people wanted the placement of a potential roundabout.

"One of the T-sections was a little too sharp for trucks to make a corner," Overton said, noting that they're taking all of what was mentioned into consideration. Some other feedback that WSDOT is taking into consideration includes where the trucking community parks to walk over to the local food places to eat, and making it more accessible.

"A lot of folks wanted a four lane bridge instead of three or two," Overton said, noting that oversized loads when it comes to width of roadway was also a concern, "not having two lanes each direction wouldn't be wide enough for oversized loads, or tractor machinery." Overton explained that this is all feedback WSDOT is looking at

There is an online open house available for community members to view designs and provide additional feedback any time through Dec. 31 at

There are three design concepts being considered at this time. WSDOT is seeking input and feedback from the public on what the preferred design concept would be.

The first is to replace the SR 26 bridge structure, then remove the US 195 bridge. Then WSDOT will create a new stop controlled intersection to the north connecting US195 and SR 26.

The second concept is also to replace the SR 26 bridge structure, and remove the US 195 bridge. This design would create a southbound US 195 bypass direct to eastbound SR26, including a T-intersection, which will be a stopped controlled, south of the gas station for all other traffic movements at the intersection of US 195 and SR 26.

The third concept will replace the US 195 bridge with a new structure, and remove the SR 26 bridge. Then a new roundabout option to the north for the intersection would be constructed.

In 2022, Legislature passed the Move Ahead Washington package requiring Complete Streets to be included in all state projects of $500,000 for projects starting designs on or after July 1, 2022. WSDOT explains that a complete street is safe and feels safe for everyone using it, and may include any one of many design features intended to improve mobility for non-motorized travelers. WSDOT states that they are dedicated improvements that fit the needs of the community, and asks for feedback on improvements for pedestrian and bicycle facilities around the project area as well.


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