When SR 397 was added to the state highway system effective April 1, 1992, it started at Finley and headed NW on Chemical Rd to Kennewick. From Kennewick the route crossed the cable stayed bridge over the Columbia River to Pasco. SR 397 followed city streets thru Pasco from the bridge to Jct I-82 (Exit 14)/US 12/ US 395, where SR 397 ended. In 1993, SR 397 was extended about a mile SE along Chemical Drive to Piert Rd. Today, SR 397 is 11.23 miles long.
There is a proposal to build an E-W road from the south end of SR 397 to I-82/US 395 exit 114. This road is often referred to as the Intertie. Originally conceived as a county road, the plan now is to build this road as an extension of SR 397.
Phase 3 of 3 of the Intertie was completed in November 2008. House Bill (HB) 1000 and Senate Bill (SB) 5234 were introduced to the 2009 state legislative session. As of March 28, 2009, HB 1000 was passed by the house and SB 5234 was in committee in the senate.
The senate passed the bill extending SR 397 and the bill was signed by the governor. Effective July 26, 2009, SR 397 now begins at I-82 Exit 114 and heads east to the Finley area, then along the previous route via Kennewick to Pasco. The addition to SR 397 is 11.08 miles long.
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