Prospect Of Court Feud Stymies Arterial Project


The South Valley Arterial is on the back burner again - way, way back.

Hoping to avoid legal action by the Spokane Valley Business Association, the county commission shelved the proposed commuter road during its Tuesday meeting. This time it looks like it won’t be back anytime soon.

Commissioner John Roskelley said instead of fighting a court battle over the arterial, commissioners would rather wait and come up with another idea.

The Spokane Valley Business Association opposed the road because the group feared it would take commuters off Sprague and away from businesses there, Roskelley said.

Dick Behm, owner of Behm’s Valley Creamery and a charter member of the business group, said the association also shared concerns voiced by environmentalists about how the arterial would affect the Dishman Hills Natural Area.

“No one was against the Spokane Valley Arterial,” Behm said. “We were against the Spokane Valley Arterial as proposed. There’s a difference.”

Behm said he would be just as interested as anyone else to see engineers come up with a new arterial plan.

Although commissioners have no plans to tackle the SVA idea any time in the immediate future, the idea of something like it isn’t entirely dead. “We do have some alternatives,” Roskelley said.

One would be to make the SVA a one-way road, and turn Sprague into a one-way carrying traffic in the opposite direction. What goes east must come back west and vice versa, commissioners figure, so business owners wouldn’t have to worry about being passed up.

County engineers had estimated the $18 million road could draw as many as 40,000 cars off Interstate 90 and several thousand off Sprague each day.

The road would have run between Thierman and University roads, lying parallel to and south of Fourth Avenue. It could eventually have been extended to Liberty Lake.

, DataTimes

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