Major improvement are coming to a busy road in one of Chelan County's heavy tourist area. 

Totem Pole Road in Manson has been getting much busier over the past several years, but is still narrow with little-to-no shoulder area. 

County Commissioner Bob Bugert says the upgrades will support the increase in car and foot traffic. 

 "It's going to have pedestrian improvements, including sidewalks and a curb ramp for ADA, for Americans With Disabilities Act compliance," said Bugert. So, it will be a really be a pedestrian friendly area." 

Commissioners approved an engineering and design contract for the Totem Pole Road project this week, which will bring $5 million in improvements. 

The project will widen the roadway, which currently is 18-to-28 feet wide, and allow for bike lanes. In addition, it will include retaining walls, landscape restoration and drainage improvements along Totem Pole Road, and down Harris Avenue to Lake Chelan. 

Image from Chelan County
Image from Chelan County

Totem Pole Road runs from the Manson’s downtown through a residential area and connects with the elementary, middle and high school. 

Bugert says there’s widespread support for the project because of the roadway’s wide ranging use. 

“This is a high traffic volume area, and it is adjacent to schools,” Bugert said. “Given those two factors, and it does get a lot of pedestrian use. We felt that this was an important project that all the partners got behind on.”  

It’s expected that the sidewalks and wider shoulders on Totem Pole Road will enhance the connectivity and walkability of downtown while easing congestion. 

The safety improvements are meant to encourage more people to bike and walk along the roadway. It’s hoped the upgrades will help relieve congestion in the downtown area and offer a recreation outlet for school kids. 

The project is highly supported by both the Manson School District and the Manson Parks and Recreation District. 

The county is contracting with engineering company Perteet, Inc of Everett for $435,000 of engineering and design work on the project. 

The $5 million cost for completion will be 50 percent funded through federal and state grants, with the other half generated locally through the Chelan Douglas Transportation Council. 

The project is scheduled to start work in 2025. 

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