Pasco rejects bids for Road 68 improvements

Pasco rejects bids for Road 68 improvements
Pasco, Wash. -- Massive changes to Road 68 are now behind schedule. Pasco rejected the price of the project when both bids to complete the work came in way over budget.

Debbie Hughes has been anxiously waiting for improvements to Road 68. She drives it every day.

"I have a preschool in my house which is just off Road 60, so yeah, the Road 68 corridor is definitely part of my everyday commute," she says.

Debbie is frustrated that changes to Pasco's busiest street are likely delayed.

"Something has to be done about Road 68. There's accidents on it, it's difficult to to make left turns onto it or out of any of the businesses you're going to," she added.

Pasco has been working towards a massive overhaul of the lanes and signals.

The city was surprised the two project bids came in nearly 50 percent over budget. Pasco rejected both.

But it's working under a tight deadline. The city needs new bids by the end of the year -- or risks losing almost a million dollars in grant money.

So what if the bids are still too high?

Pasco's road expert says they'd ask the state for more money to make up the difference.

Reporter: "What happens if those funds from the state don't come through?
Ahmad Qayoumi: "We're going to present that to city council and see what decision they make. They know it's a high-priority project."

But for now, Pasco expects a fix to Road 68 won't be done until late spring of next year.

With the amount of traffic that travels down Road 68 on a daily basis, some residents are worried that once construction does start, it's going to be a heck of a traffic back up.

"It really is a bottleneck and it causes a lot of traffic problems," Debbie says.

But as with any traffic project -- the temporary backup is expected to be worth the hassle in the end.