KENNEWICK -- Parents dropping their children off at the new Cottonwood Elementary School this fall should have a new road and railroad crossing ready to be used, if all goes according to plans.
Steven Becken, Benton County Public Works manager, said a previously anticipated delay has disappeared, and work started on the road within the last few days.
"We are under way," Becken said.
The road -- called Wiser Parkway -- links Badger Road to a development in the Badger Canyon area of Kennewick that includes the new elementary school.
The railroad crossing is necessary to provide access from East Badger Road. Construction previously was delayed because costs were higher than expected, and because the railroad was waiting for equipment needed for the crossing.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad spokesman Gus Melonas said the railroad has everything ready to build the 32-foot crossing and expects to have it finished by the time school starts in late August.
Construction should start in about two weeks, after the county finishes enough of an access road so the railroad can move equipment in, he said.
Becken said barring delays from weather or other setbacks, the road and railroad access should be finished by late August, but drivers should expect they may have to dodge construction for a week or two after school starts.
-- Michelle Dupler: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org