Local news

Spring will bring more street work to Valley

Commercial growth along Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley is forcing three street projects this spring and summer that will result in detours and delays starting as early as April.

“We expect congestion,” said Craig Aldworth, senior engineer and project manager for the city of Spokane Valley.

Work should begin in April on construction of a new, more durable concrete intersection at Sullivan and Broadway Avenue near Walmart and Lowe’s. The work will be done in stages, keeping the intersection open to traffic but with reduced capacity.

The Broadway segment on the west side of Sullivan will be closed during part of the work, and then limited to only eastbound traffic during the remainder of the project.

The project should take five to six weeks.

That job will be followed by closure and reconstruction of the Sullivan and Sprague Avenue intersection over a three-week period in late May to June. That is the busiest intersection in Spokane Valley with about 26,000 vehicles a day.

A narrow section of pavement on Sullivan south of Sprague means it would be difficult to keep traffic flowing during the job, Aldworth said.

Owners of businesses adjacent to Sullivan and Sprague told city officials they preferred a full closure since it would result in a faster completion.

Drivers will have to detour around the area, using Adams Road, Fourth Avenue, Conklin Road and Broadway.

The last project involves widening Broadway from the vicinity of the Lowe’s store east to Flora Road, a job that is anticipated to last from June to September.

One controversial aspect will be installation of a roundabout to replace the two-way stop at the intersection of Broadway and Flora.

Aldworth said he has heard complaints that roundabouts are unsafe, but traffic engineers say studies show they improve safety. The problem lies in gaining public acceptance to the change, he said.

New pavement was previously installed on a portion of the north side of Broadway in conjunction with expanded retail businesses. This summer’s project will include sidewalks, curbs and bike lanes in both directions.

About $5.2 million will be spent for the projects. Funding is coming from the state, Spokane Transit Authority and the city.

The public met last week for an update from Aldworth, who said his crew will make adjustments based on comments.

He said he still wants to hear about suggestions or problems related to the projects. He can be reached at (509) 720-5001 or by e-mail at caldworth@spokanevalley.org.

Carolbelle Branch, the city public information officer, is available at (509) 720-5411 or cbranch@spokanevalley.org.

Save the date: Bike to Work Week

Bike to Work Week this year has been scheduled for May 16 to 22, and organizers said they hope to draw 1,700 participants.

Last year’s second annual event had 1,472 registrations. Participants rode more than 64,000 miles during the week.

The team challenge drew 62 teams. Organizers hope to increase that to 80 teams this year, and extend the time teams compete.

Last year’s event included a kickoff breakfast, a wrap-up party, a public education fair and a school-based event that encouraged 2,200 students to walk or ride to classes.

Registration will begin in March. For more information, go to biketoworkspokane.org.

Early thaw, early restrictions

Seasonal weight restrictions went into effect on Spokane County rural roads last week after frozen road beds began to thaw. The restrictions are being posted earlier than normal.



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