Kennewick City Council approves projects, needs funding

Safety improvements on Kennewick's bustling Clearwater Avenue are on the city's wish list in the next few years, if money can be found.

The Kennewick City Council unanimously approved an update to the city's six-year transportation improvement plan, adding six new projects on Tuesday.

A $1.2 million project at the intersection of Clearwater Avenue and Union Street and a $1.1 million project on Clearwater Avenue between Huntington Street and Highway 395 would include lane changes and reconstruction of barriers and driveways. Sidewalks also would be improved.

Construction on the projects is tentatively planned for 2018, with the hope of receiving federal grants to pay for them, according to city documents.

A $98,000 project at the intersection of Clearwater Avenue and Utah Street would widen the roadway to create a right turn lane. Construction is tentatively planned for 2017, using local money.

Consultants from The Transpo Group and MacKay Sposito helped the city come up with possible safety improvement projects along the corridor, with input from businesses, landowners and the general public.

Next year, construction is planned on a $2.6 million extension of Hildebrand Boulevard, paid for using local money. The project includes extending the road from city limits to Sherman Street and building a roundabout at Sherman, according to city documents.

Other new projects added to the city's wish list are:

-- Improvements for bicycles and pedestrians in the east part of Columbia Park near the blue bridge, with construction tentatively scheduled for 2016. The $355,000 project would remove some barriers, change pavement markings and signs, add low-level lighting for the existing pedestrian path and install bicycle racks. Local funding likely would be used.

-- A $936,000 project that would modify the lanes and access and improve sidewalks at the Canal Drive and Edison Street intersection. Construction is planned for 2016, using local money.

-- Kristi Pihl: 509-582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com