Congestion on SR 510 might seem a bit lighter in rush hour with a brand new roadway that opened to traffic today. State, local, and elected officials cut the ribbon on Stage 1 of the SR 510 Yelm Loop this morning to celebrate the long-awaited traffic relief.
Since April, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and its contractor, Scarsella Bros. Inc., used a $4.3 million in Transportation Partnership funds to build the new road adjacent to existing SR 510 between Mud Run and Cullens roads.
“This project reduces congestion On SR 510 in Yelm and improves the commute for the 18,000 vehicles a day from Thurston and east Pierce counties that travel through this area,” WSDOT Region Administrator Kevin Dayton said before more than 50 people who gathered to see the ribbon cut a few yards from “road closed” signs that separated traffic driving past the event on another feature of the project — Yelm’s first roundabout.
“Thanks to the hard work of Scarsella Bros. Inc., we opened the roadway when we said we would and finished on budget,” said Dayton.
The new road is the first of a two phases designed to relieve congestion in one of the fastest growing areas in Washington. Since 2000 Yelm’s population has grown by more than 50 percent. The second phase of the project, which extends the new road from Cullens Road to SR 507, will begin once funding is available.
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding thanked WSDOT, current and former members of Washington’s 2nd Legislative District along with his predecessor, Mayor Adam Rivas – all of whom worked to make this project a reality.
“The opening of this new road isn’t a touchdown, but it is moving the football forward,” Mayor Harding told the crowd, emphasizing the importance of the unfunded phase two.
Motorists who travel SR 510 now have an alternate route, especially helpful during the morning and afternoon commutes during the school year, when traffic backs up near the high school.
For more information on this project, please visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr510/yelmloop.
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