June 1, 1995 in Washington Voices

Sprague, I-90 Interchange Project Stalls

By The Spokesman-Review
 

It’s likely that plans to revamp the Interstate 90 interchange at Sprague Avenue will be on hold for at least two more years.

Negotiators in Olympia recently proposed a $3.1 billion state transportation budget.

The money would pay for road projects across Washington in 1996-97.

The $40 million needed to renovate the Sprague interchange isn’t in it, said Al Gilson, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation in Spokane.

Gilson said chances are slim that the governor will include the Sprague interchange in the 1996-97 transportation plan.

“The governor has that line item veto power, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up,” he said.

It’s not the first time the Legislature decided not to fund the interchange.

Transportation officials have waited for construction money since 1990, when they finalized plans for the project.

They spent more than $16 million in the last 10 years acquiring property and designing the new interchange, which would have longer ramps that are less steep.

Families were displaced and houses razed to ensure there would be adequate right-of-way for the new ramps.

One of Spokane’s last drive-in theaters - the East Sprague - was closed to make room for the project.

In the meantime, the acquired land stands vacant and the plans sit on a shelf.

Maybe in 1997.

, DataTimes


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