The city of Wenatchee will use $1.2 million in state funding to make improvements to the Ninth Street corridor.

The City Council has approved use of money from the Transportation Improvement Board to reconfigure the street from four to three lanes between Wenatchee Ave. and Miller St.

The new configuration will add left hand turn lanes and bike lanes, and will update ADA curb ramps.

The improvements will include results from a 2019 study by consultant firm Perteet.

Those results include the left hand turn lanes at Miller and North Wenatchee Ave. to be “permissive left turns” requiring drivers wait under a flashing yellow arrow for an opening in traffic before making the turn.

Left hand turn lanes at North Chelan Avenue and North Mission Street will be “protected permission,” meaning drivers will get a green arrow for a number of seconds to make the turn.

The changes are largely being made for safety concerns.

There have been a high number of near misses, and some instances when pedestrians have been hit by vehicles adjacent to the Confluence Health building at 9th Street and Chelan Avenue.

Wenatchee Public Works director Rob Jammerman says the improvements brought by the left hand turn lanes will actually take a few seconds longer.

"We are adding a few seconds at each intersection to the level of service," said Jammerman. "But overall, the corridor remains in a A or B situation, which is really good. Most cities in the state of Washington would love to have a level B service at their intersections." (Levels A and B designate the shortest wait times to make a turn at an intersection.)

The city council shelved the project in 2020 over a lack of funding, but the Transportation Improvements Board awarded the city with a $1.2 million grant in 2023.

The total project cost is about $1.5 million, with the city being responsible for $300,170.

The project is scheduled for construction in 2026 and completed in October that same year.

Preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisition is expected to begin later this year.

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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