YAKIMA, Wash. — City officials say they still plan to close Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard today for contruction of a railroad underpass.
The street remained open this morning, raising questions about the closure schedule.
But city spokesman Randy Beehler says city engineering officials still plan to implement the closure this afternoon.
The closure will require eastbound drivers on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to detour right on Fifth Avenue and use Yakima Avenue to reach downtown Yakima.
Local traffic will still be allowed as far as First Avenue on MLK Boulevard, but no further.
The closure is expected to last into late summer or early fall of 2014, according to city officials.
Electronic reader boards went up in late February to remind motorists of the impending traffic changes.
The MLK underpass is the second phase of Yakima’s largest public works project in decades. The first phase saw an underpass for Lincoln Avenue, one block to the north, completed last year. The two underpasses are intended to improve safety, reduce exhaust emissions of cars and trucks waiting for trains to pass and improve response times for emergency responders, such as police, fire and ambulances.