KENNEWICK -- Kennewick's Olympia Street south of 27th Avenue will have a major makeover, starting next spring.
A $2.8 million reconstruction project will bring a new roundabout to Olympia and 45th Avenue, with sidewalks, curbs, gutters and streetlights the full distance out to Highway 397.
City Engineer Dan Kaufman said the project also will take out some wiggles at the top of the hill on Olympia about 1 mile south of Highway 397.
"We're going take about 18 feet off the knob (of the hill) and put in some sight distance," Kaufman said.
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The project will widen the road where needed and put two new bridges over the Kennewick Irrigation District canal.
It's expected to take nearly a year to complete and will require closing Olympia Street south of 45th Avenue to Highway 397 for a couple of months, Kaufman said.
Increased traffic on Olympia to and from Highway 397 is one reason the improvements are needed, Kaufman said.
"Highway 397 is getting more use and bringing more traffic onto Olympia," he said.
The roundabout, which will be similar in size to the one at Union Street and 27th Avenue, should also resolve a traffic safety concern at 45th and Olympia. Westbound drivers don't have clear view of northbound vehicles heading down the hill, Kaufman said.
Money for the project is coming from the state's Transportation Improvement Board, federal sources and some contribution from Benton County.
The Kennewick City Council has agreed to pay $25,000 to property owners along Olympia Street north of 45th Avenue to buy nearly 22,000 square feet of land needed to fill in the slopes as part of the project.
Landowners Joseph and Jean Aust at 5200 S. Olympia St. said the initial offer of $11,051 wasn't enough because the road widening would have a significant impact on their future development plans.