Spokane City Council members last week approved a measure seeking condemnation of an industrial property in East Spokane as part of a plan to improve Freya Street and its connection to Broadway Avenue.
It is one of two condemnation actions being taken in a single block bounded by Freya Street on the west and Alki Avenue on the south.
The council voted unanimously to acquire by eminent domain property owned by Jack and Yvonne Bunton at 604 N. Freya St. The site is home to Ram Engine.
Dave Mandyke, acting public works director, said the city needs about 3,300 square feet of the Bunton property along Freya and Alki to build a new connection from Freya to Broadway, a route well traveled by large trucks and delivery vans in this industrial neighborhood. The amount of property needed would prevent the business from operating, he said. The city and owners could not reach agreement on price, causing the city to seek the property in court, he said.
City officials want to move the existing crossover street connecting Freya to Broadway from its current location at Springfield Avenue. The crossover would move to Alki Avenue one block to the south. That would allow for construction of a new Freya Street Bridge just to the north. Engineers want to lengthen the bridge to reduce its fairly steep grade and create more room for traffic using both Freya and Broadway.
Mandyke said the crossover is a $12 million project, and the new bridge is also about $12 million. Construction of the crossover is slated for 2008, and would be in place prior to construction of a new bridge. City officials hope that the state completes construction of an underpass on Havana Street at the BNSF Railway right of way to carry detour traffic during construction of a new Freya Street Bridge.
In a separate action, the council in 2006 agreed to acquire by eminent domain property owned by Jim Hamlin and operated as Industrial Systems and Fabrication Inc., 3627 E. Alki Ave. The city is seeking about 3,100 square feet of that property for the crossover. The proposed right of way passes through a part of the business building, which Mandyke said could be modified for future use.
Also, on July 23, the council approved a pair of agreements with M&M Investments, doing business as Murphy Bros. Construction, to acquire 7,000 square feet of property for the new connection. The M&M property is located to the east of Ram Engine and Industrial Systems. The agreements allow for up to $1.58 million for acquisition and relocation costs.
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