Richland Plans For New Yakima River Bridge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Plans For New Yakima River Bridge

RICHLAND, Wash. - Plans are picked for a new way to get in and out of the City of Richland. The details call for a new bridge over the Yakima River.

Richland roads are getting more crowded every year, and that's why city staff want to give drivers a new option in and out of town.

They've looked over several plans and think they finally have one that works.

When traffic backs up on George Washington Way drivers don't have a lot of options to avoid it.

"It's no secret that the city of Richland has a lot of congestion at it's two main entry points at G-Way, and the Aaron Drive/SR 240 intersection," said Stephen Stairs, Richland Public Works Dept.   

So now city staff are recommending to connect Duportail and SR 240 to Duportail and Queensgate. It's calls for a bridge over the Yakima River, and gives downtown drivers a new route to the Richland Walmart.

Staff were considering a new bridge coming off Swift, one from Goethels, or just making improvements on the old Yakima River bridge, but the Duportail proposal is cheaper, it diverts more traffic and has the greatest potential for economic development.

"When you stack up everything against the other projects it made the most sense," said Stairs.   

And Richland Fire Fighters are big fans of talk of a new Duportaiil Bridge.

"It really opens up a huge transportation corridor for us and the community, but it really gives us access for emergency vehicle purposes to those two areas of town," said Capt. Tom Huntington, Richland Fire Dept.    

The only downside to the project calls for higher traffic in affected residential streets. But city staff said once the project is finished all the changes will be worth it.

City staff will present their proposal to the Richland City Council Tuesday night.   If the council agrees to do it, staff anticipate construction could begin in the next two to five years.