The City of Pasco has grown dramatically over the last 15 years. This growth has included both new residential developments, particularly north of the I-182 freeway, and new commercial corridors, particularly along Road 68. As the City continues to grow, the I-182 freeway has become a significant community barrier. Current I-182 crossing opportunities in the western portion of Pasco are limited to interchanges, forcing local trips to mingle with regional traffic. This gap in infrastructure creates increased congestion on the Road 68 and Road 100 corridors, in addition to corridor and intersection safety issues.
The Road 68 and Road 100 interchanges provide minimal pedestrian and bicycle facilities. This gap effectively cuts off the neighborhoods north of I-182 from residences, schools, and recreational opportunities south of the freeway, with nearly 7 miles of I-182 separating usable bicycle and pedestrian crossings. This barrier limits use of active transportation modes and encourages dependence on auto travel.
The project will complete a new, multi-model connection across I-182 by joining together the segments of I-182 north and south of the freeway with a new overpass and roadway connection. The project will also extend the existing multi-use path along Road 76 from Chapel Hill Boulevard to Burden Boulevard, as well as providing a direct connection the existing I-182 multi-use path. The project has been identified as a near term priority in the City Comprehensive Plan, Transportation System Master Plan, in the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCOG) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and in the City of Pasco Capital Improvement Plan. The estimated project cost is $22.8 million.
Direct Access to Destinations by Mitigating Physical Barriers
The Road 76 overcrossing provides a more direct connection between the retail, office, and recreational destinations located north of I-182, and the residential and education destinations located south to the south. Travel between all these destinations is currently funneled through the Road 100 and Road 68 interchanges, the only cross freeway access locations between Argent Road and Court Street near the Columbia River. As shown in Figure X, the Project will provide a new connection across the freeway unfettered by regional traffic from I-182.
This new connection will reduce average trip lengths in the western portion of the City of Pasco, particularly as the population and employment in the City continue to grow over the next 20 years. The route efficiency gained from this Project results in a daily regional reduction of nearly 6,300 vehicles miles traveled by the year 2045, passing on an annual travel mileage saving of nearly $500,000 per year to drivers in Pasco while simultaneously reducing the regional carbon footprint.
The Project provides a new active transportation connection across I-182, which is currently a major barrier to bicyclists and pedestrians in the western portion of Pasco. This new connection allows for potential reduction in vehicle trips both to Chiawana High school and for employees and customers traveling between the Road 68 business corridor and the residential land uses south of the I-182. Connecting the active transportation systems north and south of the freeway is anticipated to result in some shifts away from motor vehicle modes of travel, further reducing VMT.
Road 76 corridor is a major collector corridor in western Pasco, intended to provide an alternate route for local traffic parallel to the major arterial corridor of Road 68.
Source: City of Pasco