(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
Rate of fatal accidents on HWY 395 normal, but closures have big effect on travel…
The sights and sounds are familiar. A flurry of sirens. A blast of Facebook posts to find out what is going on. A dribble of photos of an accident on Highway 395 and then a community response of prayers for those involved and complaints about the main transportation for Stevens County.
In the past few weeks as summer ramped up, several high-profile wrecks have locals wondering what is happening to their highway.
As the population grows both in Stevens County and nearby Spokane County, traffic grows with it. While not an exponential growth, Highway 395 is seeing considerably more traffic now than in previous years.
According to WSDOT, the highway is seeing a one percent growth in traffic every year, which may seem small but, when forecasted over a number of years, can be a big jump from what we remember 10, 20 and even 30 years ago. Loggers particularly can remember times when they would drive to work at 3-4 a.m. and they would be the only vehicles on the road. Now, they’re met with several cars on the road. More