April 5, 2009 in News

Work beginning on Sprague corridor

By The Spokesman-Review
 

As road construction gets going for the 2009 season, officials in Spokane Valley want motorists to know that one of the largest street projects in the area is occurring along the heart of commercial Sprague Avenue.

Plans call for rebuilding two intersections with concrete pavement at McDonald and Evergreen roads, and enlarging the existing concrete pavement at Pines Road.

In addition, the pavement on Sprague from University Road to Evergreen will be ground down and repaved with a new asphalt overlay.

Repaving on Sprague is scheduled to follow behind the three intersection jobs. The two-mile repaving project is being financed with $2.9 million in federal economic stimulus money approved by Congress earlier this year. That project goes out to bid in mid-April.

Some delays and backups are expected as the work continues into September, but engineers said they are working to minimize the impact on businesses along the route.

“The coordination is going to be critical,” said Steve Worley, senior engineer for Spokane Valley.

Work is scheduled to begin in mid-May on improvements at the intersection of Sprague and Pines. The approaches on Pines and the intersection itself were improved with concrete previously, but now the city is going back to improve the pavement on Sprague on the east and west sides of the intersection.

During the work, lanes on Sprague will be reduced and traffic shifted to the left or right to accommodate the reconstruction and maintain traffic through the intersection, engineers said.

Once that work is completed, the city wants to move to the east and install concrete intersections at McDonald and then Evergreen. Work at McDonald should start in early July and at Evergreen in early August.

Both of those intersections will be repaired one half at a time, starting on the south sides and moving to the north sides. That will require partial closures of the intersections and limit on turns from McDonald and Evergreen during the work. Detours will be established for the closed portions.

As concrete pavement is poured, another contractor will strip Sprague of its existing, deteriorated pavement and replace it with a new asphalt overlay. The asphalt work will be done in three segments starting with the stretch from University to Pines, followed by Pines to McDonald and then McDonald to Evergreen.

The grind and overlay work will be done at night to reduce delays.

The overlay is intended to extend the life of underlying road structure on Sprague, engineers said.

Funding for the concrete projects is coming from Spokane Transit Authority, which is paying about 80 percent of the $2.74 million estimated cost to offset the cost of damage done by buses at the intersections. The city is paying the other portion.

In addition, some utility work is expected along Sprague in preparation for the repaving.

Asphalt pavement at the Sprague intersections currently has deepening ruts, or deformations, caused largely by the weight of vehicles and their starting and stopping motions during summer weather. The damage is different than the grinding that occurs from studded tires, Worley explained. Concrete pavement is more durable to weight load and heat.

Work begins today on North Side

Work is scheduled to begin today on a major road renovation in northwest Spokane. Spokane Rock Products Inc. has a $3.8 million contract to rebuild Alberta and Cochran streets north of Northwest Boulevard.

The project under the city’s 10-year street bond program involves excavation and curb-to-curb rebuilding of Alberta from Northwest Boulevard to Francis Avenue and Cochran from Northwest Boulevard to the crossover intersection at Driscoll Boulevard and Alberta.

Intersections at Northwest Boulevard and Garland, Rowan and Wellesley avenues will remain open to east-west traffic with designated detours for Alberta and Cochran on Northwest Boulevard for northbound traffic and Ash Street for southbound traffic.

Restriction lifted on Hwy. 21

An emergency speed restriction on state Highway 21 from the Curlew State Park entrance to Kettle River Road has been lifted. Traffic may now travel at 55 mph.

Mike Prager can be reached at (509) 459-5454 or mikep@spokesman.com.

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