Kennewick & Richland's Center Parkway Project Hits a Snag - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick & Richland's Center Parkway Project Hits a Snag

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A long talked about project to connect Center Parkway in Kennewick and Tapteal Drive in Richland has hit a roadblock. A long talked about project to connect Center Parkway in Kennewick and Tapteal Drive in Richland has hit a roadblock.

TRI-CITIES, WA - A long talked about project to connect Center Parkway in Kennewick and Tapteal Drive in Richland has hit a roadblock.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has denied a petition filed by the two cities to build a highway-rail grade crossing at Center Parkway.

Originally, the cities intended on connecting Tapteal Drive with Gage Boulevard by extending Center Parkway north. But to do that, Center Parkway would cross two sets of railroad tracks.

In a report filed to the commission, the City of Kennewick and the City of Richland said by doing this project emergency response times would improve, there would be less accidents with less traffic on Columbia Center Boulevard, and it would relieve Columbia Center of some traffic congestion.

However, the commission disagrees. In their response, the commission says emergency responders are meeting their response time objective and that the need of extension does not outweigh the risks of the proposed rail grade crossing.

This is just an initial order issued by the commission, it's not set in stone. The cities has time to file a petition for administrative review.

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