Yakima road projects snarl traffic; MLK underpass could be done early

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Ripped up streets and closed lanes are snarling traffic in Yakima. It's not always an easy drive, but it wasn't before the work either. City leaders say that will change. KIMA found out how far along the major projects are.

Planning to leave the house? Well, you might want to leave early.

Road construction in Yakima seems to be everywhere.

"It's awful," says Yakima neighbor, Lindsi Black.

Her usual commute down 40th Avenue is no longer an option. But, she says, the inconvenience is worth it.

"I think in the end, it'll be nice to have the smoother roads."

It's what Yakima's leaders want, too. Crews are working around the clock to repave almost 100 miles of city streets. They're also focused on the MLK underpass. A project the city tells KIMA could be done by the end of July.

"I think that'll be really good instead of having to go all the way around," says Yakima driver, Myrtle Jim.

40th Avenue between Fruitvale and Powerhouse has already been paved. The stretch from Powerhouse to Summitview should be smoothed over in the next two weeks.

24th Avenue from Nob Hill to Washington has been ripped out. Crews plan to pave it next week.

Preliminary work is also underway on Nob Hill, from 32nd Avenue to 48th. Grinding will be done before or after the Fourth of July.

Yakima's also reconstructing 600 curbs through the city to make them accessible to people with disabilities.

Most of the work is being done at night. Though some lanes are closed to drivers during the day.

Myrtle says the construction doesn't bother her.

"It's been good. I haven't any problems with driving around."

Lincoln Avenue will also be repaved this summer, from 24th Avenue to 32nd. Along with 16th Avenue, from Englewood to Nob Hill. Some downtown streets are also set for a facelift.

Leaving Lindsi with one wish.

"Hopefully, they wrap it soon."

And, make driving around Yakima that much easier.

Yakima finished work on 64th Avenue, between Tieton and Nob Hill Boulevard. The street was widened and repaved, and got new sidewalks and curbs. It was done to accommodate the traffic to and from Walmart.