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Upgrades planned for Yakima Valley Highway in 2010

The stretch of Yakima Valley Highway between Outlook and Sunnyside is in for a makeover next summer.

That's according to a six-year transportation plan Yakima County commissioners approved this past Tuesday. All counties and cities are required by state law to have a six-year plan for street maintenance.

Gary Ekstedt is the county's road engineer and he said the priorities for next year include safety upgrades for Yakima Valley Highway between Outlook and Sunnyside.

Ekstedt said the improvements will include rumble strips, more visible road markings and roadside safety, such as guard rails or flattening slopes to decrease the possibility of rollover accidents.

The safety enhancements will take place at the same time the county does an overlay project on the same stretch of highway. That requires a new layer of asphalt to better protect the roadway.

Ekstedt said the work will all be done sometime during next July and August. He added that motorists can expect some lane restrictions during the road work.

Elsewhere in the Lower Valley, county crews are to do work on Liberty and Carpenter roads.

Also in 2010, Ekstedt said the county will work on preliminary designs to improve Bagley, Beckner and McClain roads in the Lower Valley. The plan is to pave gravel portions of those roads.

Looking ahead, Ekstedt said in a couple of years the county will do some design work on Boundary and Puterbaugh roads, again with a view towards paving gravel surfaces.

Money for the street improvements comes from the county's road funds.

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