Wenatchee Waiting On Funding For 9th Street Corridor
The city of Wenatchee is waiting on grant money to move forward on the 9th Street Corridor Project.
The corridor runs from railroad tracks on the east side to Miller Street on its west end.
Plans call for the current four-lane road to be reduced to three lanes, with a center turn lane.
"Currently, the way that it's set up, you get traffic backing up on the four-lane section," said City of Wenatchee Project Engineer Ryan Harman. "But if you had a designated left turn, it would keep things moving through there pretty well."
Harmon says the back-up is especially acute for travelers headed to the Confluence Health building from westbound 9th Street.
The city spent $27,000 on a study in 2020 to improve the corridor.
In addition to the change in the roadway layout from four to three lanes is a plan to add bicycle lanes on each side.
The vehicle lane reduction would leave half a lane's width on the eastbound and westbound sides of the road that would be designated for bicycles only.
Harman says the bike lanes will serve the large residential population on the west side of Miller Street.
"It's identified as a primary bike route in our Greater Wenatchee Valley Bike Plan," Harman said. "That essentially means that we want to put bike lanes there that gets people to the waterfront, to the loop trail, and also just to all the other recreation and commercial elements down there."
One finding from the 2020 study has already led to changes aimed at pedestrian safety.
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.
The traffic signal system at the intersection now gives pedestrians a walk sign while all signal lights for traffic remain red for three additional seconds.
The purpose is to get pedestrians out onto the street to make them visible to any vehicles before any lights turn green.
Harman said the change has already had a beneficial effect on pedestrian safety.
The 9th Street Corridor Project is waiting for grant money to move forward, and is the highest ranked priority for street projects in Wenatchee that does not yet have funding.
The cost of the project is pegged at about $1.2 million.
One piece of the project that is moving forward is safety enhancements to the railroad crossing on its east end.
The city is using federal funds to pay 90% of the cost of installing the $1.2 million enhancements.
That portion of the project is now awaiting approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.