Marlene Feist

Smoothing Out the Ride

Marlene Feist, Public Works Director of Strategic Development, 509.625.6505

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 3:51 p.m.

Smoothing Out the Ride

The City has begun grading unpaved alleys and dirt streets used for garbage collection as part of a new program for 2018. Crews will grade the surface of these locations, removing potholes, and add asphalt grindings to help maintain the smoother ride.

It will take about three years to grade all of the locations in the program, which includes about 39 miles of unpaved alleys and several more miles of unimproved dirt streets.

The new program recognizes that heavy garbage trucks have an impact on the drivability of unpaved alleys or streets. Grading these location also will lessen wear and tear on our Solid Waste vehicles and reduce injuries among Solid Waste employees.

A new map helps citizens determine what locations are part of the program along with which sites have been graded, which ones will be graded this year, and which ones are planned later. Sites that have been done are in green, those that will be done this year are in red, and those planned for 2019 or 2020 are in purple.

The map also shows all the improved gravel streets that the City grades every year. They are shown in a dark blue. To learn about all the City’s grading activities, there is information available on the Street web site.

As crews move through the list of grading locations this summer, they will notify property owners adjacent to an unpaved alley or street of when they will complete work.

Not all alleys are part of this program. There are about 200 total miles of alleys in the City, and alleys that are paved or unpaved alleys that aren’t used for garbage pickup aren’t included.

Citizens who interested in paving their alley can work with their neighbors to create a local improvement district to pay collectively for the work. Information about this program can be found at

More About...