Spokane drivers are enjoying that blissful – and too short – period between the completion of the season’s street construction projects and the appearance of snow.
Major construction bogged down drivers across the city, especially the North Side. Most would say smoother streets are worth the price.
All told, the city of Spokane completed more than $8.5 million in street bond projects this year. Next year, crews will move on to construction projects in all four corners of the city.
“This year because we had many projects going on on the North Side at the same time, those drivers felt they were impacted more heavily,” said Ann Deasy, spokeswoman for the city’s Street Department.
The last section of the Ash-Maple corridor, and Wall Street between Francis and Wellesley, were repaved this year.
On Spokane’s South Hill, the major street bond project was repaving Hatch Road from 43rd to 54th avenues.
Spokane residents will equally share the pain and the benefit from street bond projects next year.
On the North Side, crews will tackle Alberta Street from Northwest Boulevard to Francis Avenue and Market Street from Garland Avenue to Francis. Heading to the South Hill, 2009 projects include Lincoln Street from 17th to 19th avenues, Southeast Boulevard from Perry Street to 29th Avenue, 37th Avenue from Perry to Regal Street and Hatch Road from 54th to 57th avenues.
The Market Street bond project is part of larger plans for Hillyard’s main artery.
Also on tap are sidewalk improvements, street trees, water system upgrades and a new swimming pool.
“It’s going to make everybody grumpy and unhappy during the work, but it will be pretty cool when it’s done,” said John Bogenberger with the Greater Hillyard Business Association.
The street bond project will repave Market Street from curb to curb, but the other improvements are being paid for with other pots of money.
The streetscape project will include sidewalks and curbs as well as lighting and street trees paid for with grant money.
The entire project will last about four months, and neighbors and businesses are already holding monthly meetings to plan for parking and access, Bogenberger said.
On the South Hill, the 37th Avenue project is the first half of a plan to improve the street from Grand Boulevard to Regal Street. Only the portion between Perry and Regal Street will be repaved next year.
Plans have yet to be firmed up about what 37th will look like when the project is completed.
It’s one of just three east-west arterials that run uninterrupted across the South Hill.
Linda Cunningham, with the Comstock Neighborhood Council, said she’d like to see bicycle and pedestrian amenities along 37th improved.
“The street is really narrow,” Cunningham said. “We’d love to have some bike access and sidewalks for kids to walk to school.”