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Pacific 'moving forward,' begins Stewart Road project
The City of Pacific officially broke ground Tuesday on the Stewart Road improvement project, which will bring $4.1 million worth of improvements to the crucial east-west arterial.
"It feels really good, I'm excited," said Mayor Leanne Guier. "It's Pacific moving forward. I think this makes a real big difference for economic development along Stewart Road. It's a long time coming."
Soon, workers will begin the process of widening the much-used thoroughfare, a vital route for truck access to industrial businesses in Sumner and Pacific, and the main access road from state Route 167 to the Lakeland Hills subdivision.
The improved road will offer two driving lanes in each direction, a two-way, middle-turn lane, and curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Signals will be upgraded, and new water main and sewer pipe laid.
Planning for the project began in 1996, with completion slated for 2003. Disputes over who would pay for the project, coupled with mismanagement by the Cy Sun administration, however, delayed the project and threatened to bring it to a screeching halt.
"So it's only about 11 years late," said Councilman Clint Steiger. "Once the whole thing is done, this is going to be huge. The Gordon (Trucking) family has said in the past that they have huge plans for the property once the corridor is done.
"We're talking about bringing some retail in here. They have some long-range definite plans for the property, which will all benefit us."
Guier said she hopes the improvements to Stewart Road prompt interest in the light-industrial-and-commercially-zoned area, possibly from major national retailers.
"This project is going to help the city of Pacific immensely," Guier said.