One of the Spokane Valley’s toughest traffic traps will get a little tougher Monday.
That’s when county engineers are expected to begin diverting cars around the Argonne underpass project.
Northbound Argonne traffic will be sent west on Montgomery for two blocks, then north across the railroad tracks on a newly built road to Trent.
From Trent, drivers can head east to get back on Argonne headed north.
Crews will be paving the new detour road this week.
Southbound Argonne traffic will follow the same route, only in the opposite direction.
The detour is expected to be in place for most of the project’s two-year duration.
The $10 million underpass is expected to reduce congestion at the Argonne-Trent intersection. Currently, delays are the norm as more than 30,000 cars and 50 to 60 trains roll through the intersection each day.
The underpass will allow traffic to flow unimpeded under the Burlington Northern tracks, which bisect Argonne just south of Trent.
The closure may be postponed if crews don’t meet construction deadlines, Burlington Northern has difficulty placing its crossing signals at the new detour or temporary traffic lights for the detour road are delivered late, the county reported.
County engineer Bill Johns said Argonne, “in all likelihood will be closed as of July 17. We are very committed to getting this project moving.”
The detour also will affect drivers who want to go to the Argonne Village shopping center.
The entrance off Argonne won’t be available for a time as crews work on the underpass. County engineers advise shoppers to use the entrance off Montgomery Avenue.
The Argonne entrance to the shopping center should be reopened after a few weeks.