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Grants pave way for construction

Farwell Road, bridges win state funds, among others

Part of Farwell Road will be rebuilt with one of four road grants Spokane County commissioners accepted Tuesday – if another, larger grant is approved as officials hope.

The section to be rebuilt next year if money is available is between the North Spokane Corridor and Market Street.

Construction of the $3 million project depends on getting a federal grant to pay the 86.5 percent of costs not covered by the $401,785 state grant commissioners accepted this week.

The project would widen Farwell Road, adding a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on both sides of the road.

This week’s grants also will help build a pair of bridges and a sidewalk near Whitworth University.

The $220,000 Whitworth project will fill in gaps in the sidewalk on the north side of Whitworth Drive, from Wall Street to Hawthorne Road.

It is to be constructed next year with a $181,232 state grant and local road fund money to cover the 20 percent balance.

A federal grant would pay 80 percent of the nearly $2.5 million cost of replacing the Little Spokane Drive Bridge over the Little Spokane River at the intersection of Dartford and Mill roads. Local taxes would pay the balance.

Another federal grant will pay 80 percent of the estimated cost of nearly $2.1 million to rebuild the Bruce Road Bridge over Peone Creek, between Peone Road and State Route 206.

County Engineer Bob Brueggeman said the Little Spokane Drive Bridge project is scheduled for next year and the Bruce Road project for 2012.

Both bridges have deteriorated to the point that Brueggeman recently asked commissioners to impose weight restrictions.

They did so on the Little Spokane Drive Bridge but deferred action on the Bruce Road Bridge while Brueggeman confers with several farmers who use the bridge to get tractors and other equipment across the creek.

Commissioners expressed interest Tuesday in swapping the projects, which probably can’t both be done in the same year because of lack of local funding. Brueggeman said work on the Little Spokane bridge is further along, but no decision was made on which to do first.

In other transportation matters, commissioners made the speed limit on Harvard Road, from the Spokane River to Trent Avenue, a uniform 35 mph. Previously, the limit was 45 mph on the section south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Commissioner Todd Mielke said Otis Orchards residents told him the mixture of speeds was confusing and created a speed trap for sheriff’s deputies.



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