August 15, 2005 in City

Roundabout not quite up to speed

By The Spokesman-Review
 

It will be a first for Spokane – a high-speed roundabout.

But one thing still going slowly around the intersection of Bruce Road and Mt. Spokane Park Drive are tires.

Delays caused by construction of the roundabout there have been significant over the past week.

Traffic can cross the intersection only one direction at a time. And tractor-trailer rigs may not be able to make it through at all because of the limited space.

Drivers might want to consider taking a different route.

The roundabout is being built to improve safety at the intersection, which has seen numerous accidents.

You can check out the project’s details at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/ SR206/BruceRoadRoundabout. The site also includes a video on how to negotiate roundabouts.

Tie it down

Just a reminder that Washington state’s penalties for driving with an unsecured load are much more severe than they were less than a month ago.

Used to be it would cost you a $194 ticket. But now it will cost you $5,000 and up to a year in jail if your unsecured load hurts someone, or $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail if your loose load causes property damage.

The change in state law was prompted by a horrific accident in which a young Renton woman was blinded and severely disfigured when an entertainment center came crashing off the back of a vehicle on the highway in front of her and then through her windshield.

After reading that example, you should tie your load down good and tight, expensive fines or not.

Go east

Spokane Valley is taking the first steps toward extending the Sprague-Appleway couplet east to Flora Road, past Sullivan.

City traffic planners say such an extension would ease congestion where Sprague intersects with Pines and Sullivan and reduce collisions at University, where drivers must make the switch from Appleway to Sprague because the couplet ends.

The city will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 7 to discuss the couplet.

Fair warning

This would be a good week for a leisurely trip along Upriver Drive, emphasis on leisurely.

The Spokane Police Department will be on the lookout there for speeders between Mission Avenue and Greene Street.

Slow going

The Interstate 90 westbound off-ramp at Freya and the intersection of Freya and Sprague are scheduled to be closed today at 2 p.m. and remain closed until 4 a.m. Tuesday for paving. The closure moves Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to the eastbound off-ramp at Thor so that Thor can be paved. The ramp will reopen by 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Division and Ruby are being resurfaced from the Spokane River to Euclid. Most of the work will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Business access will remain open.

WSDOT is also resurfacing Division Street and the Newport Highway from just north of Francis to Center Road. Most work will occur between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Spokane Falls Boulevard is scheduled to be reduced to two lanes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Tuesday or Wednesday at Browne Street for natural gas work for the convention center.

Maple Street is closed from Francis to Wellesley. Traffic is detoured to Monroe, but Monroe could be iffy at Mansfield, the site of an apartment fire on Friday.

Washington Street is restricted to two lanes from Eighth to Third.

Greene Street is reduced to one lane in each direction between Mission Avenue and the Spokane River bridge.

Regal Street is under construction from 38th Avenue south to the Palouse Highway.

“A” Street is closed between Wellesley and Hoffman.

Montgomery Avenue is being repaved between University and Pines Road.

Park Road is under construction from Second to Eighth.

Country Homes Boulevard is under construction from Cedar to Division. Expect lane restrictions.

The Palouse Highway is closed from Valley Chapel Road to Dunn Road. A detour is in place.

Government Way is under construction from Greenwood Road to Aubrey White Parkway, along with Lewis Road from Geiger Boulevard to Windsor Drive and Windsor Drive from Lewis Road to the Sunset Highway. Expect delays.

Highway 395 is being repaired from the Stevens County line to Loon Lake. Expect gravel and oil, plus single-lane traffic at times.

Crown Avenue will be closed from Bannon Road to Best Road, and Bannon Road will be closed from Crown Avenue to Wabash. Both projects are for Spokane Valley sewer work.

Spokane County is conducting repairs to the following roads this week: Monday, Shady Slope Road from Wenger Road to Little Spokane Drive and St. George School Road from Waikiki to the boat launch; Tuesday, Hazard Road at Monroe, Wild Rose Road from Monroe Road to Dalton; Wednesday, Wild Rose from Dalton north and Corey Road from Wild Rose north; Thursday, North Road from Hamilton to Highway 395, Antler from Monroe to Stevens County line and Oregon Road from Stevens County line to Spotted Road.

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