Chehalis Sets Priorities for Roadway Fixes

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    The Chehalis City Council held a public hearing at its regular council meeting Monday to receive public comment regarding its six-year transportation plan. There were no public comments.

    Part of an annual ritual, the city puts together a wish list of city transportation projects that is then submitted to the state. The purpose of the list is to compete for increasingly scarce state and federal dollars to fund city transportation projects. The wish list, called the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, or STIP, becomes part of a statewide list of projects that is submitted to the federal government to compete for federal funding, according to Chehalis Public Works Director Herta Fairbanks. Seven projects totalling $6.9 million were on the city’s list this year.

    A secondary capital improvement list of $47 million worth of road work, bridge repair and replacement, and equipment replacement was also provided to councilors that “will soon be necessary within the city of Chehalis,” Fairbanks said. The largest project on that list is the Chamber Way bridge replacement with a $15 million price tag. Only one project on the CIP has secured funding: a $103,000 traffic calming and beautification project along Chehalis Avenue, funded by a partial grant.

    Some of the projects on the STIP list include:

    • Northwest Louisiana Avenue/Airport Road extension — Part of the north/south frontage road connecting Chehalis and Centralia, the project is anticipated to be built as part of the new Mellen Street interchange, scheduled to begin in 2012.

    • Chehalis Avenue Improvement — Identified as a potential Transportation Improvement Board Grant Project, the grant funding received for the Chehalis Avenue beautification project could be used as matching funds for this project.

    • National Avenue Overlay — This project addresses the existing pavement conditions on North National Avenue (North Kresky Avenue to city limits). The project remains unfunded despite several attempts.

    • Downtown Market Boulevard Improvements — Part of the historic downtown area, this project remains a priority for the council.

    • Snively Avenue Improvements — Funding for this project would include planning, design and construction of street improvements, plus roadway reconstruction, bike lanes, street lighting and sidewalks. This is another project that has been on previous funding lists without success. This project will require additional right of way.

    For additional information on the STIP, contact the Chehalis Public Works Department at 748-0238.

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    Lee Hughes: (360) 807-8239

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