City Considering Extending Rachel Road Through Nature Preserve

The city of Richland is considering extending Rachel Road to Steptoe.

The road would cut right through the Amon Creek Natural Preserve and that has some people in the area very concerned.

Tapteal Greenway, the group that takes care of the preserve, said the benefits of extending Rachel Road wouldn't be worth the harm it would cause to the preserve.

The Amon Creek Natural Preserve sits on 60 acres of land south of Badger Mountain in Richland.

Hayden Homes recently bought land adjacent to the preserve, and plans to build a new subdivision called Clearwater Creek.

The Kennewick school district is now looking at using part of that land for a new elementary school and said the expansion of Rachel Road is vital in making that an ideal place for the new school.

Tapteal Greenway member Karen Sowers said the extention would be 1.2 miles long and cost the city of Richland $2 million.

She said in her opinion it's just not worth it.

"The fact that it is going across open space in the natural preserve seems a little bit silly when Clearwater Avenue is not very far south of here. As far as a timesaver to get to the mall or Toyota Center it might shave a minute or a minute and a half off of your drive time," said Sowers.

City of Richland Development Services Manager Rick Simon said the proposed road would be the only east/west connection road between Gage and Clearwater.

Wednesday May 28th, the city's planning commission will listen to the public comments on the issue and then make their recommendation to city council.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Richland city hall.