16th District lawmakers seek state funding for pedestrian bridge in Pasco

Court Street overpass on Highway SR 395 is dangerous, inhibits local economy.  A trio of 16th District lawmakers are making a push for partial state funding of a pedestrian bridge in Pasco that they believe will lead to better safety and more economic vitality for the area. "People are crossing Highway 395 at Court Street and it's a really dangerous situation," said Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla. "Not only do we want to ensure public safety, we believe this pedestrian bridge will enhance the local economy by connecting more people to the entertainment and shopping in the area."  The City of Pasco is willing to commit $500,000 to the estimated $900,000 project, and 16th District lawmakers would like the state to pitch in the rest.  "The City of Pasco is stepping up with significant funding at the local level and we believe the state should also play a role in this important project," said Walsh. "Pasco is one of the state's fastest-growing communities with leading trade centers, a strong service industry, and agricultural growth. It's important we support these economic opportunities with an investment at the state level." The interchange creates a dangerous physical barrier for pedestrians that many people believe splits Pasco into two separate areas. The 16th District lawmakers want the pedestrian bridge to connect around 2,000 local people who live within one-quarter mile to shopping, entertainment, and other opportunities in the area.  "The safety and accessibility of the Court Street overpass should not be compromised in any way," said Rep. Bill Grant, D-Walla Walla. "This project is a much-needed improvement for the city, and I support the allocation of state capital budget funds to help make this happen." Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt sent a letter to Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate Ways and Means Committee expressing his support for the state's involvement with the project.  "The Court Street overpass over 395 just isn't a safe way for people to cross the highway," said Hewitt, R-Walla Walla. "Senior citizens, people on bikes, and moms with strollers all cross it in fear of the cars whizzing by at high speeds. It's the only pedestrian link between the two main parts of Pasco, but it is hardly usable. I will push hard for the state to provide funding for this important pedestrian crossing." For more information on Walsh visit: http://www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Walsh/ For more information on Grant visit: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/members/grant/index.asp/ For more information on Hewitt visit: http://src.leg.wa.gov/hewitt/default.htm

by Colleen Laneby Colleen Lane
The Lane Real Estate Team
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