By Leslie Moriarty
GRANITE FALLS — Construction of a truck bypass around the city may be three years away, but the city council isn’t sitting around waiting for it to happen.
The council Wednesday approved a predesign report for the alternate route. The $56,000 report, funded with city, county and state money, outlines the existing topography of the area where the route is planned. It addresses the possible environmental considerations and gives a timetable for construction.
"It’s a primer for where we go from here," said city council member Matt Hartman.
The document will now be reproduced and given to county, state and federal agencies with funding applications for the $17 million project.
Earlier this year, the city council approved the route, which runs from the Mountain Loop Highway west past Jordan Road and then south to link to Highway 92. Several possible routes were studied as the city looked for a way to get trucks off city streets.
More than 250 trucks a day travel through town, stopping at the four-way stop at Granite Avenue and W. Stanley Street, creating long waits for motorists.
Plans are to build the truck route in two phases, Hartman said.
"We’ve learned that it is best to keep costs under $10 million so that we aren’t asking for a huge lump sum and competing with larger projects for state highway funds," he said. "That’s the main reason for the phases.
The first phase is from Mountain Loop Highway to Jordan Road. The second phase is from Jordan Road west to the city limits and then onto Highway 92.
Hartman said there was some concern that only one phase would get done.
"Nobody wants trucks going down Jordan Road," he said. "The key to this whole thing is to get the trucks off Granite Falls roads."
You can call Herald Writer Leslie Moriarty at 425-339-3436
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