Kennewick City Council OKs road projects

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 7, 2014 

Repaving part of Kennewick's Columbia Center Boulevard and designing a new intersection on Highway 395 at Ridgeline Drive will get a boost of federal funding this year.

The Kennewick City Council unanimously approved amending the city's six-year transportation plan to reflect the recently awarded grants Tuesday.

City officials plan to start construction on the Columbia Center Boulevard project this year. The project includes repaving and restriping the busy roadway between Quinault and Clearwater avenues, said Peter Beaudry, the city's municipal services director.

A $986,000 grant will help pay for design and construction, according to city documents. The city also has about $154,000 in local dollars for the $1.1 million project.

Beaudry said construction could begin this summer.

The city also received a $649,000 grant to design an intersection on Highway 395 at Ridgeline Drive this year. Beaudry said a roundabout and an interchange are being considered as options for the intersection.

The city will work with the state to determine who will lead the project's design, since the planned intersection is on a state highway, he said.

The city plans to spend $101,000 on the design, according to city documents. Construction is planned tentatively for 2016, depending on when money is available.

A roundabout is the preferred option at this point, Beaudry said. The project would cost less, about $6 million instead of a $15 million interchange.

A roundabout could also help lower the speed of traffic entering the city and deter some truck traffic, he said.

Also Tuesday:

w The council unanimously agreed to reject bids for building a roundabout at the intersection of Grandridge Boulevard and Young Street because all three bids came in higher than the engineer's estimates.

The bids ranged from an almost $776,000 bid by Inland Asphalt Co. of Richland to a $1.1 million bid by Granite Construction of Pasco, according to city documents. The engineer's estimate for the work was about $488,000.

Beaudry said city employees will review the project to see if can be modified to reduce costs and then rebid it. The proposed work includes sidewalk, curb, gutter, storm drainage and striping, according to city documents.

w Kennewick Councilman Steve Young was unanimously reappointed to serve as the city's mayor. "May I have my gavel back now?" he asked after the vote.

He said he appreciated council's support and would continue to do his best to serve in the interests of the city.

Councilman Don Britain was unanimously reappointed to serve as the city's mayor pro tem.

w Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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