The Pasco-Kahlotus Road is the major throughway for eastern Franklin County. It is highly utilized by agricultural truck traffic, which brings produce from rural Franklin County to the Tri-Cities metropolitan area for processing and distribution. The proposed Pasco-Kahlotus Road Reconstruction and Overlay II project, or "P-K II", aims at improving approximately 3.01 miles of this road (MP 5.92 to MP 8.93). Improving this section will improve the safety and usability of the roadway.
Currently, the speed limit for the Pasco-Kahlotus Road is 55 MPH. This is reflective of its use as a rural arterial, particularly as the major throughway for eastern Franklin County. However, deterioration or the road surface, relatively narrow lanes, steep side slopes, and nonconforming vertical alignments all raise safety concerns with respect to users. The P-K II project will address these issues by providing partial reconstruction and full overlay for the area in the project scope, widening the existing road surface from 26 feet to 34 feet, reducing approximately 0.25 miles of steep side slopes, and reconstructing the vertical alignment (six vertical curves) to allow for proper sight distances. The end result of these improvements will be that the roadway will be safer for both commercial and residential users.
In addition to safety concerns are usability problems with the Pasco-Kahlotus Road. As the major throughway, it is heavily utilized by agricultural traffic. It is also the primary county route to get between the City of Pasco and the City of Kahlotus. However, multiple times a year, the road is subject to weight restrictions due to inclement weather. As part of the P-K II project, the road will be upgraded to an all-weather standard. This is the last segment of a 10-mile route along the Pasco-Kahlotus Road that will be improved to an all-weather standard, improving the road's reliability.
This portion of the Pasco-Kahltous Road has not seen significant maintenance work in approximately 15 years. Due to continual subsurface structural issues, a typical BST chip seal is insufficient to correct the deteriorating roadway. The road also suffers from safety and usability issues. By completing the P-K II project, the County aims at extending the life of this segment of the Pasco-Kahlotus Road by up to 50 years.