Public input needed for how to fix busy intersection on Hwy 129


An intersection in Asotin County, considered a danger, was the topic of a town hall meeting Monday tonight.

Officials say where Highway 129 and Critchfield Road meet, is a serious safety risk to pedestrians. But now the county is asking for the public's help in finding a way to fix the problem.

It was a packed room at the Asotin County Commissioner’s meeting, as people gathered to discuss the future of the intersection of Highway 129 and Critchfield Road. "Everything is on the table at this point, we have no money we have no plans. We're here to get ideas from the public here," said Asotin County Public Works Directory, Dustin Johnson.

This spot has become a popular place for people to park their cars and walk or bike across to the green belt trail. "That's where the asphalt pathway meets the road, and there's an opening in the guardrail where a lot of people use it to cross the road.”

Monday they presented four viable options to make this intersection safer for pedestrians. The first: to install cross walk and what is called a HAWK. for high intensity activated cross walk. This would essentially be a stop light that would activate when a pedestrian pressed a button. Option 2: building a round a bout at the intersection. The third option would be putting a tunnel under the highway for bikes and pedestrian. And the last viable option would be to build bridge crossing over the road.

The most discussed option was the cross walk and light. One attendee asked Sheriff John Hilderbrand what he thought of the option. "I cringe every time I see people crossing there, if we slow down to let them cross, you still got 55 MPH coming at you from behind, so it's going to be a slowing factor," Sheriff Hilderbrand explained.

Dustin Johnson says plans are still in their infancy, and it could be over a year before any decisions are made.

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