Warm weather brings road construction across the valley
YAKIMA, Wash.- It's a sound no one likes to hear.
The sound of construction equipment blocking your way to work, but you're going to be seeing a lot more of it as the weather gets warmer.
“Summer is also the time where drivers are going to doing a lot of vacations and kids are out of school, but it's also the best time for us to do our work because the weather is nicer and warmer,” Meagan Lott with WSDOT said.
Lott said people using I-90 to get to Seattle will continue to see delays all summer.
However, their major improvement plan just east of Snoqualmie pass is set to be finished around October of this year.
“That's going to give drivers a good six new lanes of I-90 for about seven miles as well as new avalanche bridges and the wildlife over crossing we started building a couple of years ago,” Lott said.
She said you should also expect delays later this month if you are going to be using US-12 toward white pass.
Lott said they'll be working near the wildcat creek bridge later this month and they'll have to move traffic around the Rimrock lake until after august.
“That's going to require a detour on to the Tieton reservoir road, which is about a 20-minute detour,” she said.
Here in Yakima county, there's also going to be a couple of bridges closed as well.
The first is Maple Ave. in Terrace Heights. The county plans to close the bridge and the road all the way to the Terrace Height elementary school for at least a month.
Transportation engineer manager Kent McHenry said they need to start soon to make sure they're ready to work on the bridge when the water dries up.
“We can only do that work in the winter, but we can only widen the road during the summer, so that project is going to take nine months or more to get done,” he said.
Also, the bridge near Summitview Ave. and Forney Road needs to be updated.
McHenry said they'll need to close that down for a about a month in the new few weeks.
He said there are many projects in the county to be worked on, but funding is always the problem when getting them started.
The money that we're working with are like 2005 dollars. So, the amounts haven't changed to meet the demands of all the needs out there and we've lost purchasing powers due to inflation,” McHenry said.
He said 10 years is a good measure to get a single project done from start to finish. Anything under that is considered fast tracked.
McHenry said there's been an increase of crashes in construction zones and wants everyone to be careful when you see them.
For a list of projects in Yakima County during 2018.