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Walk between cities to get safer

Electric City getting trail grant


Last updated 12/26/2018 at 10:23am

Looking south toward Electric City from Banks Lake Park, a section of SR-155 currently offers only a hazardous walk toward Coulee Playland. The city plans to put a better pathway to the right of the guardrail. - Jacob Wagner photo

VROOOOOM! Whoa, that was close.

Pedestrians walking between Electric City and Grand Coulee soon won't have to worry about getting run over anymore, thanks to Electric City being awarded a grant for a pathway connecting the Coulee Playland area to Banks Lake Park along SR-155.

The $707,800 project will be paid for with $672,410 from a Department of Transportation pedestrian and bicycle program funding grant, and a 5-percent, $35,390 match from Electric City.

The vision for the pathway is a half-mile-long, 10-foot-wide paved area on the lake side of the guardrail along Banks Lake, where pedestrians and cyclists can travel comfortably.

Construction isn't expected to start until sometime in 2020, with completion of the trail estimated for June 2021.

Gray & Osborne Consulting Engineers and City Clerk Russ Powers submitted the application for the grant earlier this year.

"SR-155 does not provide any dedicated pedestrian or bicycle facilities, which deters many residents and tourists from making the approximately half-mile trip between Electric City and Grand Coulee," Electric City's grant application reads. "Currently there are no public recreational walking trails in Electric City. The proposed pathway will provide a much needed recreational opportunity for residents of Electric City, as well as promote healthy living by building a safe, walkable area between Electric City and Grand Coulee."

"Though there have been no reported accidents ... city staff have received verbal reports from a number of community members that have observed near misses along the roadway," the application continues. "The lack of dedicated pedestrian bicycle facilities combined with the high speed limit and heavy truck traffic suggests that more severe accidents would be likely to occur in this location."

The speed limit at that location is 45 miles per hour, and at times of high traffic (Colorama) there have been an estimated 3,300 vehicles driving on that stretch in a single day.

The project proposal also states that around 20 people bike on the stretch per day, and 30 people per day walk it.


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