Richland will continue
to seek new funding sources after it was denied a federal grant to build a
bridge at Aaron Drive to relieve bottlenecks created at the intersection of the
bypass highway and Interstate 182.
The city had hoped to
secure a $29 million grant for a flyover, or overpass, at the site that would
have covered the lion’s share of the project cost.
Public Works Director
Pete Rogalsky admitted the effort was a “long shot” and estimated there were 10
times the number of applicants, compared to the amount of available funding.
The city could pursue
this funding again in the next application cycle, but Rogalsky said there’s a
better chance of success with the state Legislature.
He said there’s a small
amount of money available locally to help with design work to advance the
concept of the project, which could help get it on the list for state funding.
Richland plans to host
another open house in the coming weeks, this time to publicly unveil the work
being done on a downtown connectivity study.
A committee of
stakeholders has been meeting for months on how to make it easier for cyclists
and pedestrians to get around town. Rogalsky said this study considers
Richland’s downtown to be Stevens Drive east to the Columbia River and Bradley
Boulevard north to Williams Boulevard.
He called the
committee’s work an “impactful and visionary thing” and expects an online
survey to be available after the open house to invite citizens to offer
Then Rogalsky expects a
presentation to Richland City Council in March to help cement the vision for
downtown connectivity and set a path for efforts to pay for the improvements
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