Kennewick needs to dip into the city's general fund for $500,000 to complete extending Steptoe Street south across Clearwater Avenue this year.
Grants and cash on hand will cover most, but not all, of the $5.2 million project, said Peter Beaudry, director of municipal services.
Phase 1, which cost $3.9 million and was finished 18 months ago, took Steptoe to Center Parkway.
The second phase is on track for completion in the next year but needs to have a railroad bridge built so Steptoe traffic can go under the BNSF Railway main line just north of Clearwater Avenue.
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When completed, the underpass will be the second crossing of the railroad tracks in the area. Motor vehicles on Columbia Center Boulevard now go over the tracks just east of where Steptoe Street will be.
The cost of the new bridge will be covered by $2.1 million from the 2009 federal Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. And a $1.8 million grant from the Economic Development Administration will aid in the road construction. Other grants are bringing the city within $500,000 of being able to complete the project.
Beaudry said transferring general fund money to the capital projects fund will cover the shortfall.
Extending Steptoe Street is one of the council's high priorities in providing access to the city's Southridge area.
Steptoe Street's phase 3 will connect through to West 10th Avenue and south to Hildebrand Boulevard, a major arterial serving Southridge.
Having Steptoe Street as a major north-south traffic pathway on the west side of Kennewick is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on Leslie road and Columbia Center Boulevard.
The council is expected to approve the $500,000 transfer at a meeting later this month or in March.