October 31, 2005 in City

Watch out for rolling pumpkins

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Let’s face it. There are some really mean people out there — people who will take your meticulously crafted jack-o’-lantern and roll it down Freya Street.

Turns out so many people roll pumpkins down that hill and other Spokane slopes that the city’s Street Department gets frequent calls for sweepers the day after Halloween.

If your street is slimed with pumpkin goo, you can alert the city by calling 625-7733.

And keep a lookout tonight for all the trick-or-treaters.

Law enforcement countywide will be conducting emphasis patrols starting at 4:30 p.m. today in some of the most goblin-infested neighborhoods.

North Spokane freeway progress

It’s still a couple of years before drivers can enjoy the product of the state’s labor, but work is progressing on the North Spokane Corridor.

Crews have completed four bridges at Farwell Road and are well into grading a large stretch of the project between Gerlach Road and Wandermere. That requires moving 2 million cubic yards of dirt.

And the state will soon seek construction bids on six bridges between Gerlach Road and Perry Street.

The $189 million in projects under way through 2008 are funded by a 2003 state 5-cent gas tax increase.

The 2005 gas tax increase at stake in next week’s election doesn’t contain money for North Spokane freeway construction, but it does include $152 million to purchase some of the right of way between Wandermere and Interstate 90.

The portion between Farwell Road and the intersection of Market and Francis will be completed first.

“We needed to get up to the north end and secure that land before it’s developed,” said Larry Larson, the project’s design engineer.

The state has completed several projects to make sure traffic can get around the construction in the coming years.

The Washington State Transportation Department will host an open house on the project from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northwood Middle School, 13120 N. Pittsburgh. Those interested can stop by any time over the three-hour event to talk to transportation employees.

Les Schwab rush

Studded tires are legal in Washington starting Tuesday.The winter studded tire period runs from Nov. 1-March 31.

Studs have been allowed in Idaho since the beginning of October.

State transportation officials long have urged the Washington Legislature to ban studs because of the damage they do to highways and local roads.

But here’s a Getting There confession: Studs will be on at least one VW Jetta by the end of the month.

Experts say they only perform better than other winter tires on ice, but with our local freeze-thaw-freeze weather pattern, they make me feel safer.

It’s OK if you curse Getting There when you get stuck in the ruts.

Speeders watch out

The Washington State Patrol has been cutting leadfoots a break, but no longer.

Troopers are cracking down.

WSP Chief John Batiste has ordered an end to the days of giving out warnings 56 percent of the time speeders are stopped.

Batiste says giving out more tickets will lead to fewer crashes.

Slow going

This could be the week freeway driving freedom is restored.

Work on widening I-90 between Argonne and Sullivan is scheduled to wrap up this week. Eastbound traffic may be reduced to one lane at times to make way for work. But if the weather cooperates and crews can install lane markers, you could be driving 60 mph there by Friday. Just watch the signs.

Northbound Highway 2 traffic will be reduced to one lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday from Center Road to Deer Road for repairs near the Deadman Creek Bridge.

Eastbound I-90 traffic may be impacted Wednesday just west of Spokane by work to install signs near Geiger Boulevard. Be on the lookout for lane restrictions.

Eastbound I-90 will be reduced to one lane Tuesday and Wednesday near Ritzville for bridgework.

Expect some delays on Monroe Street between Wellesley and Francis early this week as crews patch the pavement.

The Palouse Highway is closed from Valley Chapel Road to Dunn Road.

Hays Road Bridge is closed from Kentuck Trails Road to Prairie View Road.

Regal Road is under construction from 57th Avenue to the Palouse Highway.

Medical Lake Four Lakes Road is under construction from Highway 904 to Craig Road. Local traffic only.


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