Construction cones up: Grind & overlay project expands

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Construction on a dozen troublesome streets in Yakima is taking longer than expected. Work was originally scheduled to finish this month. KIMA learned why they're taking longer to fix.

In any major project, a smart planner prepares for bumps and hiccups along the way. Ongoing construction on a dozen of Yakima's roads still have safety cones up, despite a plan to finish this month.

"What's the hold up?" asked a KIMA reporter.

"Well there's not, it's not really a hold up. Often times there are timeline estimates given early on in a project and all sorts of different kinds of circumstances can arise in a projects that quite large. This is a very large road project," Randy Beehler responded.

It started large and has only gotten larger. Crews planned to resurface a dozen roads over the summer.
But they added more roads and that added more time. Yakima ended up with extra money, so it decided to resurface a section of 40th Ave between Nob Hill and Summitview. This wasn't on the original list. The city says it will be well worth it in the end.

"It's handling about 30 lane miles within the city of Yakima with some of the most at-risk roads. Roads that are right at the tipping point of falling into greater disrepair," said Beelher.

Yakima plans to make all the fixes, then plus some. And people say the impact to their drive has been minimal.

"I think it's really good. They're doing a good job keeping the roads cleaned up, I know some of the roads around here are pretty bad. So, it makes driving a lot easier. They do a pretty good job getting you in and out of the construction zones so you're not running too late," said Michielle Fleming.

Project members say all road work should finish in the next two weeks.

Yakima establishes a plan to fix specific streets every year. At least two-million dollars will be set aside in the budget.