Port of Centralia Approves First Payment for Yew Street Extension Project as Centralia Station Work Continues


Port of Centralia commissioners last week approved the first payment to Midway Underground LLC for work currently being conducted on the Interstate 5 and Mellen Street connector project, also known as the Yew Street extension project. 

The payment, which totaled $901,917.37, was approved in the port’s first regular meeting of 2023 on Jan. 4 and is the first of multiple payments to be made for work on the Yew Street extension, which is being built to accommodate Centralia Station. This payment will cover the cost of work completed on site through Nov. 30, 2022. 

Centralia Station, a shopping district project pursuit of the port, will feature a WinCo as the anchor business, according to previous Chronicle reporting. 

“They’ve made significant progress since (Nov. 30). …  We’ll probably see another pay estimate next meeting, catching us up,” said Port of Centralia Executive Director Kyle Heaton. 

Commissioner Peter Lahmann asked whether Midway Underground had been complying with Washington state law regarding apprenticeship requirements involving department of transportation funds.

Heaton said he believed Midway Underground was in compliance with Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). 

“They are in compliance with all L&I or we wouldn’t release payment,” Heaton said. 

He added that he would have Port Director of Finance and Administration Amy Graber check with Midway Underground to ensure compliance. 

Midway Underground’s bid on the Mellen Street connector project was $6,116,322.03. It was awarded the contract in August.

Upon the payment’s approval, Commissioner Kyle Markstrom added, “this is exciting. This is the first money spent on this big project and it’s awesome to see dirt moving.”

In other business, the port commissioners appointed Industrial Development Corporation officers. Markstrom will be president, Lahmann vice president and Commissioner Julie Shaffley will be the secretary and treasurer. 

The Industrial Development Corporation is responsible for issuing low-interest Industrial Development Revenue bonds, tax-exempt debt obligations supporting manufacturing, processing and utility economic development projects.