DEER PARK, Wash. – It is one of the most notorious roadways in the Inland Northwest: Highway 395 in Deer Park.
There have been so many deadly crashes at Highway 395 and Crawford, it has even been nicknamed Coffin Corner. Now, some important safety upgrades are officially in the works. Starting in the spring, several new roundabouts will be installed.
Since 2010, there have been more than 80 wrecks on the highway near Deer Park. At least three of those were deadly. According to the Washington Department of Transportation, two-thirds of the wrecks involved cars entering the highway from the side roads and being hit at an angle.
To reduce those types of wrecks, the state will be relying on roundabouts. After years of talk, funding came through to construct two roundabouts along Highway 395, including at Coffin Corner. Design work just wrapped up and construction will start in 2018.
In studies done by the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts caused overall crashes to drop by a third, a 75-percent plunge in crashes where people were hurt and 90-percent drop in deadly crashes.