KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The mayors of Richland and Kennewick broke ground Tuesday on the Steptoe Street Expansion Project. It's a multi- million dollar project that will eventually connect Gage Boulevard to West 10th Avenue in Kennewick. Right now, Steptoe Street stops at Gage Boulevard, and traffic is heavily congested near Leslie Road and Columbia Center Boulevard. The Assistant Public Works Director for Kennewick, Ken Nelson, says this project will help the Tri-Cities flow more smoothly. He says, "This has been a long term project for both the cities of Kennewick and Richland, both need this project. It's something both traffic models show we need."
The Steptoe Extension project is divided into three phases. The first phase is building a connecting one mile road from Gage Boulevard to Center Parkway. Nelson estimates the cost for this phase to be around $4 million, and expects it to be completed by the end of this year.
Nelson says the entire extension project will cost around $15 million dollars, but the timeline depends on funding. Phase Two of the project is connecting Center Parkway to Clearwater Avenue. Phase three is connecting Clearwater Avenue to West 10th Avenue.