Stimulus slows Idaho travel
I-90 bridge work through Post Falls starts today; U.S. Highway 95 being widened in Coeur d’Alene
Construction work on Interstate 90 through Post Falls begins today and could cause traffic delays until work is completed in mid-June.
Workers will be repairing freeway bridges over the Spokane River, Pleasant View Road and Spokane Street.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction today through May 3 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The reduced lanes will involve the entire 4.4-mile stretch between the river and Spokane Street.
Starting on May 4, the lane closures will run all day and continue for about a month, said Barbara Babic, public involvement coordinator for the Idaho Transportation Department.
After that, the job will revert to nighttime closures for about three additional weeks.
The eastbound onramp at Stateline will be closed the night of May 3.
Delays of up to 15 minutes are possible. The speed limit is being reduced to 45 mph through the construction zone.
“The project is going to have a significant impact on traffic over here,” Babic said.
Penhall Co., of Mukilteo, Wash., won the $2.2 million job, which will include new ramp pavement at Spokane Street.
It is one of two major highway projects under way in the Coeur d’ Alene and Post Falls areas.
Workers last week started construction of additional lanes for U.S. Highway 95 from Wyoming Avenue to state Highway 53 north of Coeur d’Alene.
The $6.6 million project is going to create a four-lane highway and add a traffic signal at Lancaster Road, which is closed during construction to the east of the highway.
Work last year created a four-lane segment between Highway 53 and Ohio Match Road.
Interstate Concrete and Asphalt in Coeur d’Alene won the bid.
New northbound lanes and a median will be built first. Traffic will be routed onto those lanes when they are completed to allow for reconstruction of the southbound lanes.
Money for the two federal economic stimulus projects comes from savings in other projects, including the new Dover Bridge project on U.S. Highway 2 west of Sandpoint that was estimated at $35 million but came in at $22 million.
The savings is the result of lower material costs and competitive bidding among contractors hungry for jobs during the current recession.
The two North Idaho projects were selected for funding by the Idaho Transportation Board.
Bike to Work sign-up
Registration has started for Bike to Work Week, May 16-22. Last year’s event drew 1,400 participants.
To sign up, go to biketoworkspokane.org.
Events will include an education fair on May 16; a pancake breakfast at Riverfront Park on May 17 from 7 to 9 a.m.; a walk and roll to school day on May 19; and a wrap-up party at Steam Plant Grill on May 21 at 4:30 p.m.
This year’s event will also feature a four-week commute challenge.
Take STA to Bloomsday
Bloomsday buses are running again on Sunday with riders paying $1.25 for full-day passes. A special sticker pass can be obtained at the Bloomsday trade show, at the Spokane Transit Authority Plaza ticket counter or at the STA website at spokanetransit.com.
Special buses will begin running at 6:30 a.m. from NorthTown Mall on Lidgerwood Street near Wellesley Avenue, Ferris High School on the north side of the school, Spokane Valley Mall on Indiana Avenue near the Red Robin restaurant, and in Cheney at the Eastern Washington University Red Barn, 820 Washington St.
Work to watch for
•In Spokane, Decatur Avenue from Freya to Julia streets is closed to all but local access during reconstruction.
•Residential street sweeping is under way across the city.
•In Airway Heights, a city project to install new crosswalk islands and warning signals on U.S. Highway 2 may result in possible lane closures during evenings and overnight.