Recently, the Wright County Dept of Roads with the Pasadena Transportation Authority and NZDoT undertook an upgrade of River Street in Pasadena to make the road a more attractive alternative to US 78. Previously, the road had a stretch of steep 40% grade near its eastern end and two level crossings with frequent Amtrak and freight services. In addition, it only extended as far south as SW 5th Av* as it was intended mainly for local use. The new roadway is partially elevated, with a new entrance on SW 10th Av and now stretches down all the way to NZ 1 / S 1st St. To complete this segment, portions of Industrial Rd were widened and a new signal was built at the intersection with NZ 1.
*In case you were wondering the control roads are US 78 (1st St E/W) and NZ 1 (1st Av N/S). This does create a small patch of the city between US78 and the Salamanca River which has "West" streets and causes a little confusion with regards to "true" western streets across the river. The numbering system however, extends beyond the city limits and does make more sense out there. A renumbering is under consideration.
Below: River Street before construction. Note steep grades near SW 6th St and multiple crossings.
Below: Phase 1 of construction SW 10th St to SW 5th St
Below: Phase 1 partial opening: traffic routed onto US 78. In Phase 2, River Street will be extended South of the Rail Line to join with Industrial Road.
Below: Phase 2 Opening. Planners are happy with the increased use of the road and reduction in volume on US78. Phase 3 (under review) will involve straightening the roadway to remove the S-bends, provide a connection to SW 3rd St and possibly eliminate the level crossing.
Below: New Signal at intersection with NZ 1. Old stop sign ahead warning needs to be replaced.
Below: Some of the new signage for local destinations. Trailblazers for NZ1 and US 78 and River Stadium Signage will be reused.