South Union Gap Improvements

Limited access to Interstate 82 (I-82) forces heavy freight traffic from western portions of the upper Yakima Valley to compete with commercial and personal owned vehicle traffic on congested routes in the City of Union Gap. The Beltway creates a direct limited access freight route, thus reducing congestion and delay on Main Street, Valley Mall Boulevard, and commercial/business districts. Phase 1 was completed in 2017 and included a new bridge over Wide Hollow Creek. Phase 3 is currently under construction and includes I-82 interchange improvements aligning with the planned Regional Beltway Connector. Phase 2 – Regional Beltway Connector will connect Phase 1 and Phase 3 when fully funded.


  • TRANS-Action, a public-private coalition prioritizing regional transportation projects for the upper Yakima Valley, recognizes the Regional Beltway Connector as a top urban priority.
  • In 2015, crop production and food manufacturing accounted for approximately seventy-five percent (75%) of the over $1.8 billion in export value from the Yakima Basin.
  • The Regional Beltway Connector will provide direct efficient freight access for western portions of upper Yakima Valley to I-82.
  • Both termini of the Regional Beltway Connector are fully funded and constructed or under construction as of Spring 2019.
  • Heavy freight traffic will no longer directly compete with commercial and personal vehicle traffic, and emergency response vehicles in the joint planning areas of the cities of Union Gap and Yakima, including removing conflict on roadways servicing the regionally significant Valley Mall and City of Union Gap schools.
  • The Regional Beltway Connector allows freight traffic to use a safer and more efficient alternative route with direct access to I-82 and without an at-grade railroad crossing.