A Center Parkway project designed to improve connectivity between a key retail section of Richland and the entire Tri-Cities is about to open to road and foot traffic.

It's been a year since crews began work on the north extension, connecting Tapteal Drive with Gage Boulevard behind Columbia Center Mall.

The nearby irrigation canal, railroad and Columbia Center Boulevard came together in a way that made it difficult to reach a large swath of property under development. The Center Parkway North Extension project is a solution to that.

"It's going to really help circulation in a busy and productive, retail, commercial area of the region." said Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director.

The roadway will feature three lanes and a signalized/gated at-grade railroad crossing at the Port of Benton rail crossing. The cities of Richand and Kennewick agreed on a plan to make the area friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.

"To link up trail facilities and sidewalks and bike lanes and make it work for everybody, regardless of how you travel." Rogalsky said.

The city will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, October 18 at 10am off Tapteal Drive, near the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. City and elected officials are expected to speak.

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