Lewis Street Overpass moving forward

PASCO, Wash. -- A project to replace the aging Pasco overpass built during the Great Depression is moving forward. The Lewis Street Overpass project has been in the works for 15 years. A demolition contractor has been decided upon and just need's the mayor's signature. The contractor would demolish the surrounding buildings first, not the actual underpass.

Nick Gutierrez has been a business owner on Lewis St. in Pasco for 15 years. Up until two years ago, Nick worked on the other side of the street. He moved across the road when the city told him his old shop would be affected by the Lewis Street Overpass project.

"I knew it was gonna happen, I've been an owner here for 15 years, in this business, doing car auto, I knew it was gonna happen but I didn't know when," said Gutierrez.

Which is why Nick got out as soon as he could.

Nick says he already lost money when he was forced to close doors at his old shop and move across the street to his new shop. He says he hopes that doesn't happen again when construction begins.

"To be honest with you, I know business is gonna slow down a bit during the construction, I don't know exactly how long that's gonna take, so we have to be prepared to close the doors I guess for a week or two minimum," he said.

The overpass is more than 70 years old. The city says it's unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians by today's standards. A contractor has been picked to start the demolition. Working to carefully clear any hazardous waste left behind. Pasco has been struggling with funding the 30-million dollar project. They've been trying to get money from the feds or the state. But they do call the project "shovel-ready".

Nick says aside from worrying about his businesses, he wants what is best for the safety of his community.

"That is an old underpass. It looks really really bad right now the way that it is. So I think that it is a good project," said Gutierrez.

The board will ask the mayor to sign the documents for the contractor, making it official at Monday's city council meeting.