New Lewis Street Overpass breaks ground, expected to be finished in 2023

PASCO, Wash. — Dozens of city officials, state legislators, construction workers, and community members gathered Friday morning to celebrate the start of construction for the Lewis Street Overpass project in a groundbreaking ceremony.

Pasco city leaders said the multi-million dollar project has been in the making for over two decades.

“I can’t express how excited I am to see this project through and the benefits it’ll bring to our community,” said Deputy Mayor Blanche Barajas with the city of Pasco.

The bridge will be built across the BNSF Railway railroad tracks, replacing the 1937 Lewis St. undercrossing.

Barajas noted concerns with the look, structure, and safety of the current pathway.

“You turn around and you have this area that’s dilapidated,” Barajas said. “Imagine when we have the aesthetics and it looks more appealing so it’s going to attract more people, more business, more revenue to the city of Pasco.”

Steve Worley, the city’s public works director, said it’s time for a change.

“For one, it’s a structure that has come to the end of its life but two, it also represents a history that is important but also its good to move on,” Worley said. “You can see the amount of support this project has from the community and from the state.”

Worley added that the bridge will also help connect communities, literally.

“I think the bridge that is being proposed will bring new life to downtown Pasco by connecting the east side with downtown and making it much easier and safer for traffic, cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists to get on both sides of the railroad tracks.”

Officials said the bridge will have bike lanes, sidewalks on each side, and two lanes of traffic. It is expected to be completed in 2023.