Washington State casino gives $1 million to improve road after employee killed in crash
Just over two weeks ago, an employee of the Snoqualmie Casino in Washington State and her daughter were killed in a crash on State Road (SR) 18. They were just two of the seven people who have died along the highway in the past ten months and the casino now wants to do something to prevent more from dying. It says that it will donate $1 million to lead a study on how to improve the road and make it safer.
According to the casino’s CEO, Brian Decorah, the money will be used for an assessment of SR 18 between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road. He added, “We are ready to fund this assessment, immediately, if WSDOT agrees to begin the assessment in the next 90 days."
After the latest deaths, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced that it had been allocated $1 million to fund the assessment. It stated in a blog post, "In many areas, SR 18 would need to be widened to accommodate the barrier, moving traffic to the existing shoulder and rebuilding the shoulder to become a lane. The shoulder as it is now isn’t paved to what is known as ‘full depth,’ meaning it’s not built to handle the weight of traffic thousands of vehicles that would use it each day would present. We would need to excavate the existing shoulders to create a new roadway before traffic could drive on it. Even with this portion, several feet would be needed for a new shoulder for stalled or disabled vehicles to safely pull off the travel lanes."
However, the WSDOT indicated that the funds wouldn’t be available until next year. That’s when Decorah decided to step in and push the study forward.
The study will determine how much it will cost to design and widen the stretch of highway. Decorah added, “We are offering $1 million dollars in the names of everyone that has lost their life on this 7-mile stretch of road."