State Senate leader calls for improving roads

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ The leader of the Washington State Senate would like more state funds to improve rural roads leading to Washington State University in Pullman.

State Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is asking Gov. Jay Inslee to take $113 million proposed to improve fish habitat and use the money instead to improve the dangerous highways that are heavily used by WSU students.

U.S. Highway 195 and State Route 26, both predominantly two-lane roads, are the main highways that carry people to and from Pullman.

A transportation package passed by the Legislature earlier this year allocates money for passing lanes on both roads. But that work is not scheduled to begin on US 195 until 2017 and on State Route 26 until 2025.

Two WSU students died in traffic accidents over Thanksgiving break.