Yakima Valley Highway project ahead of schedule

For the next several weeks, motorists at the 16th Street and Yakima Valley Highway intersection in Sunnyside will experience construction delays and gravel roads. Currently, a stormwater system is being installed. After infrastructure improvements are complete, crews will work to start re-building the road later this month.

Photo by John Fannin
For the next several weeks, motorists at the 16th Street and Yakima Valley Highway intersection in Sunnyside will experience construction delays and gravel roads. Currently, a stormwater system is being installed. After infrastructure improvements are complete, crews will work to start re-building the road later this month.



It’s been a long, hot, dusty summer for motorists at Sunnyside’s busy 16th Street and Yakima Valley Highway intersection.

The road is torn up, with some traffic revisions, due to construction underway. The project isn’t just about resurfacing the crossroads, but installing updated utilities such as new water and stormwater lines.

Shane Fisher is the city’s public works director, and he says the project is actually a week to 10 days ahead of schedule.

“The project is not supposed to be done until November,” he says. Right now crews are installing a stormwater system and to date have already installed the water line.

Once infrastructure is in place, then contractors will begin to install the road base and get it resurfaced.

Construction to improve the intersection started in May. When complete, the project will include new lights and pavement.

The project is just one of many underway in the city. Other road improvement efforts include downtown Sunnyside and a stretch of Yakima Valley Highway from Edison Avenue to Morgan Road.

As for 16th and YVH, Fisher says it will likely be about two or three more weeks before crews begin to replace the intersection’s base rock.

He notes placing two layers of crushed rock and then asphalt is an exact science.

“It all has to be graded correctly so all the rain and surface water makes it into the catch basin,” Fisher said.

By the second or third week of September, Fisher anticipates the road re-surfacing will be completed.

He adds there are no guarantees work at 16th and YVH will continue ahead of schedule.

“We’d love to be done sooner, but I’ve been around long enough to know we don’t want to count our eggs before they hatch,” he said.



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