We have progress to report.
It’s been 11 years since the Legislature passed a transportation revenue package. Since that time, many projects throughout the area were constructed. But like all things, roads and bridges deteriorate, and populations increase. Thus, there is a need for a new round of funding to support our local transportation system.
There wasn’t a lot of highway construction near the Tri Cities last year; but that’s not the case now. The 2015 Connecting Washington Transportation Revenue Package provides for $133.4 million of transportation investments in Benton and Franklin counties for the next six years. In addition, we’ll be taking care of much needed paving projects.
The 2015 Connecting Washington Transportation Revenue Package provides for $133.4 million of transportation investments in Benton and Franklin counties for the next 6 years.
Here’s a look at a few of the projects coming to the Tri City area.
I-82 West Richland — Red Mountain Interchange
Crews broke ground in December on the new roundabout in Benton City. It’s the first of two construction phases on the Red Mountain Interchange Improvements. The roundabout project improves the intersection at Highway 224 and Highway 225 by eliminating two stop signs and building a roundabout. Phase 2 starts in 2019 and improves access to the Red Mountain area with a proposed new interchange on Interstate 82.
Highway 395/Ridgeline Intersection — Build Interchange
Our design engineers are planning improvements that will accommodate rapid growth, safety and improved access at the Highway 395/Ridgeline Intersection. Other safety features will include bike lanes and sidewalks. Design is under way, and construction is scheduled to begin in 2020.
Highway 240 and Highway 395 Corridor Improvements
Two projects are included in the Connecting Washington package to make intersection improvements in the Tri-City area. There is $15 million slated for Highway 395 north of Pasco, and $5 million is provided for improvements along Highway 240 through Richland. Design is not yet started, and construction is scheduled for 2017 through 2020.
City projects funded by Connecting Washington
The Connecting Washington Transportation package also includes money for city road projects. The city of Richland intends to construct a four-lane bridge over the Yakima River connecting the bypass highway and Queensgate Drive. The project will be the only local street crossing of the Yakima River in Richland, providing a shorter, safer route for vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users.
The city of Pasco plans to replace the BNSF railroad undercrossing with a new wider bridge to enhance mobility and safety.
For more on the Connecting Washington Transportation Revenue Package, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Funding/CWA.
Highway 12/Walla Walla Corridor Improvements
To the east, WSDOT has funding to complete the next 10 miles of the Highway 12 widening project from Burbank to Walla Walla. This project will widen the Highway 12 corridor to four lanes bypassing the towns of Touchet and Lowden. Constructing a four-lane divided highway will reduce congestion and intersection related accidents. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019
Highway 124/Monument Drive railroad crossing
Separate from Connecting Washington, other planned work will be constructed with pre-existing funding. East of Burbank, WSDOT will construct a bridge over the Union Pacific railroad crossing to allow Highway 124 traffic to cross above the railroad. Monument Drive will reconnect to Highway 124 west of its current location. Moving the intersection will improve safety for traffic entering Highway 124.
2016 highway paving projects
Drivers will see a lot of activity along state highways throughout the summer of 2016. Crews will do as much work at night to minimize impacts, although drivers will see a lot of orange cones. Fresh pavement is coming soon to: I-82 near Prosser, I-182 at Road 68, Road 100 and Queensgate interchanges. Paving work is also planned on Highway 395 in Kennewick and Pasco and on Highway 12 through Pasco and Burbank.
We are excited to move forward with the design and construction phases. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us.