West Richland road projects need state funding

West Richland road projects need state funding »Play Video
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- West Richland says some of its busiest roads need fixing today, before they have to be rebuilt in the future.

We looked at how the city plans to pay for it and what roads could be resurfaced in the months to come.

Paul Hohenberg has lived in the Tri-Cities all his life.

The 90-year old has seen West Richland explode with growth and he's only expecting more.

"I won't see it in 20 years, but it's gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger, and you're gonna have to cut in new roads," he says.

But West Richland says some of its busiest roads need serious work.

"These are the ones that we felt are critical. That need to be addressed in the next five years," says Public Works Director Roscoe Slade.

These include Keene Road between the roundabout and Kennedy , Bombing Range Road from Paradise to Kenndall Way, and North 62nd off Van Giesen all the way to Harrington Road.

Slade says while the roads are perfectly derivable today, they need to preserved before they have to be rebuilt.

"If you can maintain them, it's pretty cheap, but if you have to reconstruct, you're at five to ten times the cost. It's very expensive to reconstruct roadways," Slade says.

It's why the city is asking the state to pay most of the million dollar cost. But West Richland isn't the only city competing for the state funds.

If the money isn't granted -- the city plans to ask again. But it could mean West Richland has to pony up city money to make big fixes.
The money socked away today would only cover a small portion of the cost. Paul says the city should know where the money is coming from before pulling the trigger.

"As long as they're definitely sure where the money is coming from, other than just the average worker who's paying taxes, sure," Paul says.

Each road tackled will cost around 400 thousand dollars. If West Richland gets the money, work could start by next summer.

The city will have an answer by next month.