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Highway reduced to memory lane

Mon., April 30, 2007

Spokane Valley’s plans to pave over its last stretch of the old U.S. Highway 10 may be progress, but reading about the project still caused highway lover Tom Flanagan a little jab of pain.

He’s spent the past few years researching Highway 10 in the Northwest, even taking a girlfriend on tours of it.

“There’s a lot of it you can still drive,” said Flanagan.

Before Interstate 90, Highway 10 was the major route between Seattle and Detroit. Parts of it remain, serving as surface streets, frontage roads and even part of the Centennial Trail in Idaho.

Most of Highway 10 would be unrecognizable to 1950s road warriors. Sprague Avenue, for instance, has been repaved and re-engineered multiple times.

Many of the old-style motels are long gone, pictured in the thousands of old postcards Flanagan has collected on eBay.

Some signs from the old days have found new life in new locations, he explained. The Carlson’s Pine Lodge Motel sign now graces Carlson Sheet Metal Works (minus the ” ‘s,” of course), he said.

Flanagan filled a walk-in closet with his research – binders of postcards, rolled-up maps, files jammed with copies of deeds and old articles and tablets of notes. He’s written articles for the Museum of North Idaho and national magazines.

The divided four-lane stretch between Corbin Road and the Spokane Valley/Liberty Lake city limits, now known as Appleway Road, however, remains relatively untouched since it was built more than 60 years ago. It has lasted as an aging concrete relic of the nation’s pre-interstate past.

This year it will be torn up and replaced with a five-lane asphalt road, with bike lanes, sidewalks and a pedestrian/bike path just off its southern side.

The $6 million project starts in June, said Steve Worley, Spokane Valley’s senior engineer.

While Flanagan mourns the passing of another section, he understands that drivers will be pleased to travel over a smoother roadway.

And the woman Flanagan took on Highway 10 driving dates, at her suggestion?

“My colleagues said, ‘Marry her,’ ” Flanagan said. And three years ago, he did.

Bloomsday shuttles

Spokane Transit is expanding its Bloomsday shuttles for Sunday’s race.

Bloomsday Express Shuttles will pick up racers from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and return them to express lots from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lots are located at NorthTown Mall (at Lidgerwood Street near Wellesley Avenue), the north side of Ferris High School, at Spokane Valley Mall near Red Robin and at the Eastern Washington University red barn in Cheney.

Racers are dropped off on First Avenue between Post and Stevens streets, where they can catch return buses.

The cost for a round-trip fare is $1 if participants buy a pass sticker at the Bloomsday Trade Show and display it on their race number. On race day, the fare is $1 each way to ride.

Visit the STA booth at the trade show or for more information.

Route cleaning

Watch for signs this week warning about street cleaning on the Bloomsday route.

Cars will be towed if they are in the way. Those who park on Riverside or Broadway should keep a particular lookout Tuesday and Wednesday.

From the horse’s mouth

Local executives will use alternative commuting methods to get to a news conference today on “Smart Moves,” AKA using the bus, bike, carpool – anything but a single-occupancy vehicle – to get to work.

According to a Spokane County news release, these executives used commute alternatives during April.

If you want to check it out, head over to the STA Plaza downtown at 9 a.m.

Some there, like Spokane County Commissioners Bonnie Mager and Mark Richard, will get there by bus. OK.

Then there’s Coffman Engineers CEO Dave Coffman, who will arrive by horse.

Three questions: Is it a white horse? Will he be wearing armor? Is he married?

Highway 231 work starts

A state project to rehabilitate the Spokane River Bridge on Highway 231, north of Reardan, begins today.

The bridge’s deck needs to be repaired and resurfaced.

Crews will install a safety system this week, designed to signal to drivers when they can cross. It will be activated May 8, at which time traffic will only be able to cross in one direction at any given time.

Loads wider than eight feet will be prohibited.

It will take about two months to finish the $410,000 project.

Corridor open house

The Washington State Department of Transportation will hold an open house Tuesday on its North Spokane Corridor project.The project has enough funding to complete a section between Francis and Highway 395 by 2011.

The open house is from 5-8 p.m. at Northwood Middle School, 13120 N. Pittsburgh.

Slow going


Eastbound Interstate 90 is reduced to two lanes from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Sunset Hill area, as crews place signs in preparation for the downtown viaduct project. The same restriction will be in place on the westbound lanes between Hamilton and Division.

Havana Street may be restricted this week under the freeway.

In Idaho, I-90 is reduced to one lane in each direction from about Mullan Road to Exit 22 at U.S. Highway 97 as crews work on the Blue Creek Bay Bridges. The speed limit has been reduced to 55 mph and vehicle widths are limited to 14 feet.

North Spokane

Work to add left-turn lanes to U.S. Highway 395 at Wild Rose Road could cause some traffic delays. Turns are restricted.

Maple Street is closed from Northwest Boulevard to just north of Wellesley Avenue through June. Wellesley is reduced to one lane in each direction at Ash Street and Maple Street.

Sharp/Sinto Avenue paving begins today from Haven to Fiske. Fiske Street paving is also under way between Boone and Mission avenues.

Freya Street is closed from Market Street to Gerlach Road.

South Spokane

29th Avenue will be one lane in each direction between Southeast Boulevard and Freya Street through May while a water main is installed and the roadway is repaved.

Spokane Valley

Several streets are closed in the area of Evergreen Road, Valleyway and Best Road in Spokane Valley for sewer work. Springfield, Alki, Nixon and Valleyway are all closed from Evergreen to Best; Nixon is also closed from Best to Calvin; Bannen Road and Bolivar Road are closed from Sprague to Valleyway; and Calvin is closed from Main to Nixon.

Twelfth Avenue is closed between Evergreen and Blake Wednesday to Friday.

North Idaho

Government Way is under construction in Hayden between Honeysuckle and Wyoming.


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