goal is to improve the present two-lane highway between Burbank
and Walla Walla into a four-lane divided highway connecting with
the existing interstate system.
ARE THE BENEFITS?
U.S. Highway 12 from Burbank
to Walla Walla is a heavily traveled, two-lane highway with traffic
counts that average up to 12,000 vehicles per day. Freight trucks
account for nearly 1/3 of that volume.
Since 1991, the Burbank to Walla
Walla stretch of U.S. Highway 12 has been the scene of more than
1,079 accidents, of which 414 involved injuries that resulted in
Improving the highway from two lanes to four can reduce serious
injury and fatal accidents by as much as 40 percent. That would
mean a significant savings of lives and suffering, not to mention
a major reduction in property losses.
Economic development is dependent
on a high-quality transportation system. One of the most important
considerations for virtually every business is a location with nearby
access to a four-lane highway. The Walla Walla Valley has lost promising
economic development opportunities simply because businesses wanted
to be located closer to a four-lane highway.
With Walla Walla County’s
per capita personal income only 73% of Washington State’s
average and just 77% of the national average, the need for a stronger
economy is vividly apparent.
Improving U.S. Highway 12 is
important to Walla Walla Valley’s economic future.