Commuters looking for another way to get from one end of downtown Yakima to another might get an alternative sooner rather than later.

The underpass on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard currently has enough progress that the city is open to the possibility of opening the road sooner than the late-summer, early-fall deadline.

City Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler said, “The construction crews have been working very hard to keep the project on schedule and on budget, which they’ve been successful at doing. The project has gone along very smoothly and we’re thankful for that.”

Construction is now beginning on the bottom seal that will create a watertight barrier to protect the underpass from groundwater. The retaining walls are also nearly done.

In a press release, Beehler says that if construction continues on its current pace, the underpass will open ahead of schedule.

Progress on the construction is available on the city's website.

The majority of funding for the two underpasses has come from grants provided by state and federal agencies. A small portion of the money used to build the underpasses has come from local sources.