City council approves $1.6 million road improvement project

Construction on Pioneer Hill will include resurfacing, traffic control measures beginning in May

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

Pullman city councilmembers unanimously approved a $1.6 million re-bid to complete the arterial streets resurfacing project during their meeting Tuesday. 

The chosen construction company, Motley-Motley Inc., will resurface three areas of Pioneer Hill starting in May with hopes of completion by the end of August, said city engineer Cara Haley. 

The streets include Spring Street from Main Street to Crestview Street, Crestview Street from Spring Street to Carolstar Drive and Harvest Drive from Carolstar Drive to Bishop Boulevard. The project will cover about 1.27 miles, Haley said.

In addition, about 65 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps, permanent traffic calming measures and landscape strips will be installed, she said. 

Traffic calming measures, such as chokers, should slow down drivers and make streets safer for pedestrians to cross, Haley said. Chokers narrow a road to make drivers more aware of their surroundings.

She said the measures will be installed on Grant Street/Spring Street at the intersection of Pheasant Run Court and Harvest Drive. A permanent choker will be constructed at the existing temporary traffic calming device at the crosswalk on Harvest Drive.

“With COVID-19, I noticed a lot more people, including myself, were out walking in the neighborhood,” Councilmember Brandon Chapman said. “This is a benefit to all the neighbors in the area.”

Haley said a federal grant will fund $1.4 million for construction costs, while the remainder of funds will come from the Arterial Street Fund.

The City of Pullman initially called for bids in June. However, the single bidder Motley-Motley Inc. did not meet the Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise requirements set by the Washington Department of Transportation. After revising the contract and calling for more bids in December, Motley-Motley Inc. became eligible to be contracted for the project.

The bid came in about $20,000 higher than the city’s estimate, Haley said.

Chapman said residents came to him with concerns about losing street parking due to the construction. 

Last spring, Haley met with impacted residents to discuss how the project would realistically change parking. She said parking spots would not be dramatically altered.


Mayor Glenn Johnson said the majority of healthcare professionals, police officers, long-term facility residents and fire department staff received COVID-19 vaccinations.

Sworn officers and fire department staff received the first dose two weeks ago and the second dose last weekend. Only one police officer felt mild side effects, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said. 

After receiving the shot, a record of vaccination goes into a national database, he said. Then the Washington State Department of Health sends daily check-ins via text so the vaccinated person can monitor side effects.

“Keep using masks and keep social distancing. Keep washing your hands,” Johnson said. “We’ll get through it. As a matter of fact, it’s probably going to be a lot better than 2020.”