Currently, three major projects have been identified within the City of Yakima and the Terrace Heights neighborhood. They will ultimately reduce the heavy traffic congestion within the city and on I-82, and provide a new east-west link over the Yakima River. The only crossing in the area is at East Yakima Avenue which, due to increasing growth of the area, experiences heavy traffic and congestion. These projects will provide an alternative crossing and invite development in the region.
After further review and input from County Commissioners, three of the alternatives were eliminated and the Lowlands alignment was chosen as the preferred alignment. A 2012 Berger Abam supplemental report was prepared to further refine the Lowlands alignment and provide a modified alignment based on comments received during the Board of County Commissioners public hearing. The modified alignment was selected since it has less impacts to the Yakima River, is more compatible with non-motorized uses, fewer impacts on developed properties, not as many segments of road with steep grade, and a shorter overall construction time frame. The 2011 and 2012 Alignment Studies are available in the library.
Discussions of an alternative crossing over the Yakima River has been ongoing for many years. Studies for the East-West Corridor project began in 2001 with a Terrace Heights Corridor Study completed by Harding ESE, Inc. This initial study only examined two alignments. Following the 2001 study, a 2011 report was conducted by Berger Abam. The 2011 report examined four detailed alternative alignments based off of the initial study. These alignments were: Ridge Top, Rest Haven Bench, Ridge Base, and Lowlands.