PASCO -- Providing access to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area is one of eight road projects on Franklin County's wish list for the next two years.
County commissioners Wednesday unanimously approved a six-year transportation improvement plan for 2011-16.
Tim Fife, county engineer and public works director, said completing the projects will depend on getting the money to do them.
The plan includes four projects each for 2011 and 2012, including access to Juniper Dunes and an extension of East Foster Wells Road.
The federal Bureau of Land Management designated Juniper Dunes as a wilderness area in 1984, but it doesn't have any public access. Property owners have had problems with people using Peterson Road, a private road they pay to maintain, to reach the public land.
The BLM has funding to pay for access to Juniper Dunes, but must determine how to get the money to the county for the project, Fife said. The $1.5 million project would construct an access road from the Pasco- Kahlotus Highway to the wilderness area.
The county is hoping about $1.4 million will come from the federal government.
In 2011, the county plans to add two miles to East Foster Wells and connect it to the Pasco-Kahlotus Road, Fife said. It's the final piece needed to create a second arterial route in that area.
The county is applying for a $1 million stimulus funding grant for the project, said Guy Walters, assistant public works director. It already has about $1.7 million for the $2.7 million project, including a $1.4 million federal grant.
The county also may be able to replace Filbert Bridge, which is 10 miles northwest of Basin City, in 2011, Walters said. The county is trying to get federal bridge replacement money for the $468,000 project.
Extension of Road 100 and Dent Road is planned for 2012. Road 100 dead-ends at the Pasco city limits. The project will extend Road 100 west one mile to connect with Dent Road and extend Road 100 one mile north to connect to another part of Dent Road and continue to Fanning Road.
The county hopes to pay for the project with a $1.6 million grant from the state Rural Arterial Program and $900,000 in county money.
The county has asked Franklin County Superior Court to condemn three properties belonging to Lee and Lynne Eickmeyer of Pasco so the Road 100 project can begin. Steve Lowe, county prosecutor, has said the county and landowner can't agree on price.
Other projects for 2011-12 include bringing Pasco-Kahlotus Road from Levey to Herman roads to all-weather standards, a study of future route needs in the county's rural rivershore development area, widening Taylor Flats bridge and completing an analysis of collector routes.
The projected county roads department budget is $9.5 million for 2011 and $8.9 million for 2012. In 2011, expected revenue includes $2.5 million in gas tax, $2.8 million from property tax, $2.9 million in federal grants and $1.2 million in state grants.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org