Officials sought input from residents on Asotin County's six-year road plan

CLARKSTON, WA - The Asotin County Public Works Department is inching closer to starting several big ticket projects.

Local residents weighed in Monday morning on the millions of dollars of possible changes.

To stay in check with federal law, the Asotin County Public Works Department sought input from local residents at the commission meeting Monday. The federally mandated Transportation Improvement Program orders the county to write up a six-year plan.

The plan works to reduce congestion and improve road quality. One of the top priority projects is an infinity shaped roundabout along Fleschman Way which would cost about $10 million. Some local residents think it's too much for what they said is an unnecessary project.

"Could we not put some of these larger projects that have been controversial like the Fleschman Way Interchange and the Critchfield Road Pass," said resident Rick Rogers. "Could we not put those on the ballot in November as an advisory vote to see how the public actually feels about these things."

"When the time comes we'll undoubtedly have more public input gathering sessions and if the public truly is against it, then that will certainly shape the plans going forward," said Asotin County Commissioner Brian Shinn.

In total the projects cost $41million. One million of that is local tax money. The rest is to come from state and federal funding. Some residents are ready to see changes take place in the area like former Public Works Director Joel Ristau.

"The four mile stretch between Clarkston and Asotin to a world class facility like this that we have, we have zero places for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross," said Ristau.

At this time, only a few of the projects are in the planning stages. There aren't any projects in the construction phases yet, but several projects have secured funding.

The list of projects will eventually make their way to the local Metropolitan Planning Organization for review.