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Toll possible for pass

If the slides don’t get you, the toll might.

Snoqualmie Pass is one of about a half-dozen locations being considered for Washington state road tolls.

The Washington state Transportation Commission has been studying the possibility of charging tolls to fund road and bridge construction projects and perhaps even pay for ongoing maintenance on some roads.

According to focus groups and a recent survey, the prospect of a Snoqualmie Pass toll to pay for safety and capacity improvements has one of the best chances of winning over Washington voters.

About 46 percent of those on the Interstate 90 corridor said they would favor a toll there.

“There will be no tolls in this state without public approval,” said Dale Stedman, a state Transportation Commission member and leader of the Spokane Area Good Roads Association.

Gas taxes aren’t enough to pay for all the highway and bridge projects needed in the state, Stedman said.

The I-90 pass is on the major east-west route through the state and through the northern part of the country.

Stedman said that such routes, with no other good transportation alternatives, are the most likely for tolls.

Other places being considered for tolls include the state Highway 520 bridge over Lake Washington in Seattle, the Alaskan Way viaduct in downtown Seattle and the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland, said Stedman.

There are no tolls in Washington, but 28 projects have been subject to tolls in the past 30 years, said Stedman. And the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge will have a toll when it opens.

The Transportation Commission will hold an open house on tolls from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 28 at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.

Better hold it

In bad timing for Memorial Day weekend traveling, the Schrag rest areas on Interstate 90 were temporarily closed last week because of water problems, leaving an 80-mile gap in the state’s system of pit stops.

It’s not the sort of thing that happens too often, but is problematic for small bladders – especially when the Washington State Department of Transportation doesn’t make any changes to its signs indicating the number of miles to the next rest area.

I’d hate to be the mom of a toddler, counting on a bathroom in 40 miles, only to find it closed. How about sending a guy out there with a cardboard sign and some duct tape?

The busted bus

The Washington State Patrol showed off its mobile DUI vehicle last week in Spokane.

Impaired drivers will get a chance to check it out locally during Hoopfest.

The motor home has three blood alcohol testing machines, two holding cells and a drug-testing room.

It’s not all about cars

WSDOT is holding an open house Wednesday to discuss a project to build a pedestrian bridge over the Harvard Road I-90 westbound on-ramp.

The bridge is being designed as part of the city’s trail system and is scheduled in 2007.

Drop by Liberty Lake City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Dr., 4-7 p.m. to learn more.

Slow going

I-90

I-90 is reduced to two lanes in each direction between Division and Maple. Most nights it will be further reduced to one lane in each direction. The Monroe/Lincoln ramps are closed, as are the westbound Browne Street on-ramp and the eastbound Maple on-ramp and eastbound Division exit. The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph. No changing lanes.

North Spokane

Rutter Parkway is closed from Highway 291 to Hope Lane until late June. Flaggers will also be directing single-lane traffic most days at the intersection of Rutter Parkway and Highway 291. And the highway may be closed for up to 20 minutes at a time for blasting.

Crestline Street is closed from Lincoln Road to Francis Avenue. Lincoln Road is closed from Napa Street to Crestline. Detours are in place.

Haven Street is closed all week in Hillyard from southbound Market to northbound Market.

South Spokane

Freya Street reconstruction will close traffic to all but local access only from 18th Avenue to 37th Avenue. Detours are in place.

Work to rehabilitate 29th Avenue between Southeast Boulevard and Grand Boulevard has reduced traffic to one lane in each direction, and drivers are unable to enter or exit Perry at 29th. Detours are in place.

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

Palouse Highway is under construction between Valley Chapel Road and Dunn Road.

Spokane sweeping

Crews will sweep from Ash Street to Monroe Street between Wellesley and Glass; and from Crestline to Nevada between Francis and Wellesley; and from Fifth Avenue and 29th Avenue between Monroe and Cannon.

Please move cars off the streets. For more information, call (509) 456-2666.

Spokane Valley

Barker Road is closed from Boone to Euclid for widening.

Valleyway is closed to all but local traffic during the day between Conklin and Sullivan.

Idaho

The intersection of Mullan and Chase roads in Post Falls will be closed 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday

Poleline Road is closed from McGuire Road to Chase Road through June 5. Detours are posted.

Prairie Avenue remains under construction between Ramsey and Huetter.

The Government Way bridge in Coeur d’Alene is closed.

 

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