Widening of River Road Upsets Some Residents of the Street
YAKIMA, Wa - Some people who live on River Road in Yakima are angry with the way the city is going about its plans to widen the road.
The city began construction in December. They are busy laying down new sewer lines now. River Road from 16th Avenue to 34th Avenue and Fruitvale Boulevard will be widened to two lanes with a turn lane in the middle. A traffic signal will be installed at River Road and 16th Avenue. The city hopes to be finished with the project by the fall.
"The line I'm walking right now is what's being taken from our property," says Alyson Seaton, who walks a line that cuts right through the middle of her front yard. She says the city will be taking all the property to her right.
"When they reconstruct the fence, we're gonna have this much room between the fence and our house," says Seaton. That amounts to less than two feet.
All the city is offering is $900. Alyson says her mother's upset because it doesn't pay for their irrigation system, their fence, or the bushes they have lining their property.
"My mom's trying to fight it with everything she has because it's our property, because we paid for it and we deserve to keep it," says Seaton.
Not every neighbor is upset.
"Well, just basically where this brick line is," says David Tyler, pointing to a corner of his front yard that the city is taking.
He lives across the street from the Seatons, but he actually doesn't mind all the construction. He says it's worth it for a better road.
"It might increase things as far as property value," says Tyler.
He's excited to hear the city is building sidewalks in part because he runs a childcare business from his house.
But Seaton says other neighbors are roaring mad. They're losing more property than Tyler and she says one woman has already sold her home."
The city says they'll pay for an outside appraiser to evaluate a home owner's property. If they come up with a different amount, the city will consider raising its offer. If the homeowner still is not happy with it, then they'll have to go to court.