Walkers and bikers traveling to the WSU Pullman campus will benefit from an expanded shared sidewalk along Main Street heading onto Stadium Way.
The sidewalk expansion and new bicycle bypass onto campus are possible thanks to a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Construction of the new walkway is expected to occur next summer and be completed before the start of the Fall 2022 semester.
“This improvement idea came out of a 2011 bike and pedestrian study that the university undertook, and we are excited to see it come to fruition thanks to funding from the state and support from our local partners,” John Shaheen, director of WSU Transportation, said.
Of the nearly $950,000 projected cost, WSDOT has awarded more than $740,000 from its pedestrian and bicycle program. The rest of the funds will come from a budgeted match from WSU Transportation, as the project aligns with state-mandated commute trip reduction initiatives.
WSU Pullman’s new pedestrian-bike pathway initially fell just outside of WSDOT’s funding for the 2021-2023 biennium. Additional money provided by the Washington legislature meant that several additional projects, including the new pathway in Pullman, were funded, Shaheen said.
The existing sidewalk along the east side of Main Street beginning at its intersection with Bishop Boulevard will be widened to 12 feet. The roadway will maintain two lanes of traffic in both directions. A new bicycle bypass running parallel to the Stephenson Residential Complex just behind the campus gateway sign will also be constructed. The project also strengthens the connection between the university, the Chipman Trail, and amenities along Bishop Blvd.
Transportation officials are also looking at adding a bike lane along the west side of Main Street, which would require adjustments to traffic lanes, Shaheen said.