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Union Gap project meant to improve traffic and safety near Valley Mall and Main street

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UNION GAP Wash. -- City Leaders from Union Gap and the Washington State Department of Transportation or DOT are working together to move semi-truck traffic away from the Valley Mall and Main street.

Right now, the only way to reach the highways in Union Gap is through the round-abouts on Valley Mall Boulevard to go to I-82 or going down Main Street to US 97.

Union Gap’s Director of Public Works Dennis Henne says, about 3,000 trucks travel through these two streets daily, causing traffic near the mall, school and small businesses in the area.

This is why the city of Union Gap and DOT are planning to work on two road projects – the Regional Beltway Connector and the South Union Gap Interchange.

“It will enable freight and commuters to get out of the downtown shopping district and be more accessible to the interstate versus having to fight trucks through the roundabout, the shoppers through the roundabouts and all the commercial traffic generated in that one location," said Henne.

The city is working on the Regional Beltway Connector project which will be a separate road that will connect to Ahtanum, Goodman and Longfibre roads with access to I-82 and U.S. Highway 97.

Assistant Regional Administrator for Construction and Development Brian White says DOT will be working on the South Union Gap Interchange project which will connect new ramps to the interstate to provide full access in all directions on I-82 and U.S. 97.

“What’s nice about our project is it also ties in with the city of Union Gap’s Beltway project and kind of works on that network," said White.

The city has already completed phase one of the project which cost them $3.65 million.

The rest of the Regional Beltway Connector project is estimated to cost around $17.9 million, while the South Union Gap Interchange project will cost around $34.4 million.

Henne says, they are expected to start construction on the projects during the spring of 2019, and are hoping to open to traffic that same year in fall.

For more information go to the city of Union Gap website.

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