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Mayor’s Blog: First Trip Through the Yakima MLK Underpass [VIDEO]

It’s officially open for traffic now — the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard underpass was dedicated today by a number of statewide and local leaders. I had the honor of hosting the ceremony that included speeches from state Sen. Curtis King and regional director Don Whitehouse, regional director of the state Department of Transportation.

After the dedication ceremony, a caravan of city vehicles took the first official trip on the underpass, followed by Yakima community members on foot who got a firsthand look at the new structure. Even the Yakima Transit Mini Bus made in through.

The total cost: $10.6 million

A key benefit of the MLK, Jr. Boulevard underpass and its sister underpass on Lincoln Avenue is that they are making it safer for police, fire and other emergency service providers to respond faster. Driver and pedestrian safety have also been greatly improved. And, fewer cars waiting for trains to pass mean fewer exhaust emissions and better air quality.

Here is exclusive footage of the first ride on the newly open underpass. One quick reminder is the Lincoln and MLK will both go back to being one-way streets, which will take some getting used to since we’ve been traveling both directions.

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