Improvements begin on stretch of Columbia Park Trail

RICHLAND, Wash. – A new year, means new projects for the City of Richland. They’ve started work on a stretch of Columbia Park Trail.

Public Works Director Pete Rogalsky said they’re improving what used to be a state highway.

“It’s really turning urban now, it’s right in the heart of our community, it’s on the shore of the river, and so we’ve created a concept and assembled some money to upgrade it to a city street,” he said.

The plan includes bike lanes, sidewalks, lighting. Rogalsky said it’s funded by federal money from the gas tax that drivers pay.

“The work is actually going to be cut up into a bunch of different pieces that make the most sense for keeping access open and getting meaningful chunks of the work done,” he explained.

Currently, the road has two lanes of travel in both directions, but soon that will change.

“When people take turning movements, across – when there’s two travel lanes and no turn lane, then that creates delays and confusion and occasionally crashes. We’re removing one travel lane in each direction but we’re adding that center turn lane,” he said.

Rogalsky said the plan is to have the project done by late summer. If you’re traveling in the area, beware of the decreased speed limit and construction crew.