New US 12 overpass opens and deadly intersection closesPosted: Updated:
BURBANK, Wash.-- The new US 12 overpass at Humorist Road in Burbank opened Wednesday.
It's been a deadly intersection in the past and this project is expected to change that. Now that it's open the intersection is being taken away to end cross traffic.
Four people died at there in five years and now people are hopeful there won't be anymore. Many community members in Burbank remember those who've died at the intersection of US 12 and Humorist Road. Two brothers were killed there on Halloween night just a few years ago and locals, like Jessie Wilder, continue to talk about the tragedy.
"They go and put roses and stuff down there for the remembrance. Everybody still on that day, they'll always say something," says Wilder.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is pouring millions into improving safety on US 12. Project engineer, Moe Davari, says the overpass should lower the likelihood of fatalities.
"Flower baskets out there for fatality cases or all the signs with the rear ending and so forth. We no longer have to face that," Davari.
The chance of getting hit was always high and now the overpass will rise above the problem.
"Me and my sister were driving in it one time. A truck almost didn't stop because he wasn't paying attention to the light and we were going and we almost got hit. That's happened more than once so I like the overpass," says Wilder.
Sixteen thousand cars cross the intersection everyday and one thousand of them are trucks. Stopping for a light or pedestrians on such a high speed road was a recipe for disaster.
"With this project all that stuff, any type of collision accident, rear ending, is basically eliminated because we've separated the two directions of traffic. They don't have to cross each other's paths anymore," says Davari.
The only remaining stop light between Yakima and Walla Walla is now eliminated..and today the overpass is a road to safety.