SUNNYSIDE — The City Council has adopted the city’s 6-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2020-25.

The program, which must be adopted to secure state and federal funding for street improvement projects, lists projects the city would like to complete by 2025 with improvements to Sixth Street listed as top priority.

It is the only project that has, so far, received approval by the council, having been given the green light in 2018.

Improvements to the thoroughfare would include a reconstruction of the road, as well as improvements to sidewalks, gutters, storm drains and lighting.

The project is estimated at a cost of nearly $3.49 million with plans to apply for more than $3 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds.

Construction is expected in 2024 on the project which has been planned since 2015, when the City Council adopted a 2015-20 TIP.

“We prioritized that project as number one because we’ve been in design since 2015,” Public Works Director Shane Fisher said.

“We were funded by Surface Transportation Programs (STP) to design the project, but when we tried to apply for construction funding, they said we are not eligible for funding until 2024.”

Fisher continued, “This is because we’ve been very successful in seeking grant funds, and other cities in the region need to build their projects, too.”

Projects planned for 2020 include resurfacing Yakima Valley Highway from East Edison to East Lincoln Avenue at a cost of $533,000 and pre-engineering Midvale Road reconstruction at just more than $125,000.

The Yakima Valley Highway project has also been included in the TIP since 2014.

Projects completed since then include the Stackhouse Bridge replacement and improvements to North 16th Street.

Intersection improvements at South Ninth Street and East Edison Avenue, improvements to Grandview Avenue, additional improvements to North 16th Street and Scoon Road, as well as South Sixth Street continue to be among priorities for the city.

Also listed in the TIP are plans for Americans With Disabilities ramps throughout the city.

No members of the public spoke during the June 24 public hearing, and City Manager Martin Casey told the council the improvements benefit the general public, as well as freight transportation.

When Councilman Francisco Guerrero asked about the future of the council’s plans for a Transportation Benefit District, Casey said discussions regarding options will take place at a meeting in August.

Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email JMcGhan@sunnysidesun.com

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