Franklin County resident tells Pasco council he's worried about possible I-182 off-ramp

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJune 17, 2013 

One Franklin County resident took issue with part of the city of Pasco's six-year transportation improvement plan at Monday's council meeting.

Jeff Daniels, who lives on West Argent Road just east of Road 44, said he is concerned about a possible Interstate 182 off-ramp to Road 44. The ramp is designed to relieve congestion at the Road 68 interchange, the busiest in the city.

Daniels was also interested in plans to widen Argent to five lanes from Road 40 to 20th Avenue. The job is expected to go to construction next year.

"I'm not opposed to the road, as long as it's done the right way," Daniels said. "I don't want another Road 68 on Argent."

Daniels said it's already a tough task walking across Argent to get his mail every day, and he has been in some fender benders while driving in the area.

Public Works Director Ahmad Qayoumi said public input will be sought before construction starts on Argent Road. The project will include a traffic study and open house meetings.

Daniels lives on a stretch of Argent in unincorporated Franklin County, though it is in the city's urban growth boundary, making it a likely target of future annexation.

Mayor Matt Watkins said the city takes people's statements seriously, even if they aren't Pasco residents. The city usually works with the county on projects that straddle the city limits.

"We want to listen to anybody, because they are Tri-Citians too," he said.

The 2014-19 transportation plan, which is required in order for the city to get state and federal grants, also includes a traffic signal at Road 44 and Burden Boulevard near the proposed off-ramp.

In other action, the council scheduled two public hearings at 7 p.m. July 29 on recently completed street improvements in the Kurtzman Park area.

Residents are expected to help pay for the street work through the use of local improvement districts. They can pay over 10 years, according to city manager Gary Crutchfield. Their share of the cost was cut in half because of the city's use of federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

The city will complete a final review of the projects, which cost around $600,000 each and affected a total of around 100 lots. Sidewalks, storm drainage, curbs and gutters and improved driveway approaches and disabled access were added in the east Pasco neighborhood.

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