It's one of the most notorious crossroads for congestion in the Tri-Cities.
Now, imagine your life depending on a fire truck or ambulance pushing through that traffic in a rush to help you.
This month, the city awarded the first contract on the
"Probably 75 percent of the calls for Station 83 are north of the freeway. North of the freeway is just a lot higher density," Gear told the
Because much of the area south of the interstate is in the county,
Still, the city will keep its two-bay station south of the highway, which was built in the mid-90s before the retail stores and homes sprang up around Road 68, Gear said.
The new station will house two fire engines -- one for buildings and one for grass fires -- and an ambulance, which were at the other station.
The fourth bay will house another fire engine or ambulance as needed as the area grows.
"I'm trying not to build these and fill them up the day we move in," Gear said. "Adding another bay doesn't add that much to the building."
First of two stations
The fire department aims to replace the Road 48 station with one at Road 52 and
The council plans to approve a contract for the estimated
And Gear hopes the currently planned projects serve their needs for the next 50 years.
Construction on both could take up to a year.
Faster response to emergencies
And the replacement on
It also will consolidate the fire department's administrative offices, including the fire chief's office, into a single building.
Right now, there are administrators on
While the two fire stations will help firefighters get to emergencies faster, city leaders will need yet another fire station if they want to keep their current fire preparedness rating.
The better the response time the better the rates.
To keep the rating, the city will need a fifth fire station to serve the growing community near Road 100.
Gear expects the WSRB will rank the city again by 2025.
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