Richland: Strategically planning for future of the city

Cindy Johnson, managerMarch 30, 2014 

Richland's development spans 42.5 square miles, crosses over the Yakima River, circles around Badger Mountain South and development continues in the north. Richland covers a lot of geography with many valuable projects on our horizon for the betterment of our citizens, businesses and visitors. In 2008, the Richland City Council established a Strategic Leadership Plan to ensure the projects necessary for our success stayed within focus while keeping an eye on our future. The plan is reviewed each year and updated every five years. The Strategic Leadership Plan has a defined vision for several areas within Richland.

The majority of Richland's growth is taking place to our south and southwest, creating challenges that come with growth and meeting the needs of the citizens. In late 2013, the Richland City Council approved the 2014 City Manager's Budget, which included funding for a new fire station. Fire Station No. 74 will be built in the Queensgate area to address emergency response needs for our growing population and, once the Duportail Bridge is built, will supplement the responses to the downtown core area of Richland. We are in the process of working with the other fire districts to ensure our new station compliments the existing emergency services in the surrounding area. The location of Fire Station No. 74 will be on Duportail Street.

The Duportail Bridge is the conduit to linking the growth in these areas into our downtown core area, which will allow vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency responders to more efficiently connect to the downtown and core part of Richland. The Duportail Bridge has been a topic of conversation for years and our city leaders understand a project of this magnitude takes city support leveraged with state and federal financial contributions. The city continues to champion the Duportail Bridge Project to our state and federal leaders. Although we refer to this project as the Duportail Bridge Project, the actual bridge is the final phase of the three-phased plan. City staff are working on Phase 1 this year: realigning Stevens Drive to eventually connect into the extended Duportail Street.

Richland is also working on connecting the Tapteal area to Kennewick, via the Center Parkway extension. The extension of this road has been identified for years as a much-needed road to offset the large amounts of vehicles and ease congestion along Columbia Center Boulevard and Steptoe Boulevard. The cities of Richland and Kennewick have been working on this connector for several years. The cities have a petition to the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission to allow the crossing. Just north of this area is the new Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, which will open this summer.

Another long-term project has been the Columbia Point area. In late 2013, the city began actively soliciting proposals from potential developers for our three remaining parcels in Columbia Point. Two of the parcels are near the Courtyard by Marriott and Anthony's Restaurant, and the other is along Bradley Boulevard southeast of the Shilo Inn. The city is well aware of our responsibility to be prudent as we select the next developer because these are the last city-owned parcels in that area.

To the north, Richland has the most far reaching projects. The city plays an active partnership role in the Wine Science Center and the Tri-Cities Research District. The Wine Science Center at Washington State University will be a world-class wine research and education facility once it is completed this fall. The Tri-Cities Research District continues to be the center for technology innovation and advancement with new businesses and developers consistently showing an interest in the area.

Although Richland is large in land mass, our vision remains focused. Visit our website at www.ci.richland.wa.us to find out more about the Strategic Leadership Plan.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service