Big changes are coming for the community of Downtown Pasco. The City has officially broken ground on the Lewis Street Overpass Project, an effort that has lasted at least two decades.

The goal of the project is to enhance safety, connectivity, and economic development in the area. It involves building a bridge across the BNSF railway tracks to replace the Lewis Street Undercrossing. The latter has been in place since 1937, and many have deemed it unsafe for everyday traffic.

City leaders say the new overpass will provide a safer connection between the Central Business District and East Pasco. It will feature two lanes of traffic, bike lanes, sidewalks, and even decorative lighting and artwork.

From road improvements to features for the community to enjoy, it is designed to improve the overall quality of life in Downtown Pasco.

"We are doing this for the betterment of our community as a whole," says Pasco Mayor Saul Martinez. "The hope is this is going to bring wonderful things, look beautiful, and bring all kinds of businesses and new people to our communities."

The entire project will cost just under $40 million. It is funded by the State's Connecting Washington program and other federal and local contributions.

Construction of the Lewis Street Overpass is expected to last 300 working days, meaning it could be open to traffic in 2023. City leaders hope it will have a positive impact on the community for decades to come.

Check out a simulation video of the completed overpass here.