No state road projects for Tri-Cities this summer

TRI-CITIES, WA. - It's this time of year that we usually prepare you for the major construction projects headed your way this summer, but this year we've got nothing. That old joke that there are two seasons - winter and construction - is not true for the Tri-Cities in 2013.

Molli Garton is not a fan of delays or traffic, but I didn't expect to find someone who is. Molli is a CBC student who logs more than 100 miles a day between school, work and home. Not having to worry about delays is a weight off her shoulders.

"It will be a relief to not have to slow down because construction zones, going to make me late for class," said Molli Garton.

The Department of transportation tells me that for only the fourth time in the last 15 years, they have no major planned projects for the summer season. The Assistant Project Engineer told me it's not about a lack of work, but a lack of money statewide.

"We are just trying to hold the roads together," said WSDOT assistant project engineer Alex Sanguino.

The only work on state roads will be some chip-sealing and paving along SR-14. But nothing like the addition of the double roundabouts in Kennewick that took months, the overpasses on Highway 12, or the expansion of 240 to become four lanes.

"I feel accomplished, we have done a real good job in this area, trying to fix all the problem issues, we are not going to be able to fix them all - with unlimited finds we could - just doing the best we can with the money we have," said Sanguino.

That lack of money means additional widening of Highway 12 is still on hold, but local drivers like Molli aren't likely to mind.

"We'll be able to enjoy our summer without a jackhammer in the background," said Garton.

Enjoying the sun and the open roadways.

Of course DOT projects are different from city projects. You'll remember the project on GW Way in Richland just last fall. Nothing is planned for Richland or Pasco this year. Kennewick says the only thing it's planning is some re-paving on
Olympia Street.

Enjoy it while you can!