January 10, 2011 in City

For roadways, major work; for drivers, major headache

By The Spokesman-Review

Drivers in the Spokane area are going to have another construction season of slowdowns under a series of major projects planned for Interstate 90 and Division Street.

Studded tires have caused so much damage to the concrete pavement on the Sunset Hill that the Washington State Department of Transportation is now going to spend $7.8 million fixing the freeway in a project expected to last until 2012.

The work will begin this spring and include the freeway lanes from the downtown viaduct at Walnut Street to milepost 275, near the airport, a distance of five miles.

Al Gilson, spokesman for the DOT in Spokane, said the pavement was poured in the early 1990s, and is showing wear from heavy traffic and studded tire use.

“We’ve got rutting pavement,” he said.

Engineers designed the pavement originally to be thick enough to withstand grinding.

In addition, the contractor is going to resurface the pavement on the Latah Creek Bridge with latex-modified concrete. Bridge expansion joints will also be repaired.

The bridge includes the onramp and offramp for U.S. Highway 195. The ramps will be closed during part of the work. Otherwise, two lanes of the freeway in each direction will be open.

A number of broken concrete panels will also be replaced along the length of the job.

Acme Concrete Paving Inc. of Spokane won the contract among five bidders.

The work starts this spring and will span two construction seasons, ending in summer of 2012.

To the east, the state is planning to spend $14.9 million widening I-90 from four to six lanes between Sullivan and Barker roads.

That job begins in the spring and will take about 30 weeks, with completion expected late this year.

The existing asphalt pavement will be replaced and a new concrete road surface will be poured.

Acme also won that bid.

Back in Spokane, the state is going to resurface overpass bridges at Altamont and Havana streets. The job is currently out for bid, but is expected to start this spring or summer. During the work, the freeway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction.

“That is going to cause some backups,” Gilson said.

To the north, the state has hired Inland Asphalt for a two-year project to repair Division Street. Last year, the intersection at Wellesley Avenue was repaired and resurfaced. This year, Inland is coming back to repave the roadway from Euclid to Francis avenues. Total cost is $2.4 million.

Division is the designated route for U.S. Highways 2 and 395.

To the southwest, the state is going to have the outside lane of I-90 from Tokio to Ritzville ground down and repaved in a job that will run from spring through midsummer.

Paving projects bring honors

Several state paving projects in recent years earned awards from the Washington Asphalt Paving Association.

Knife River Corp. and a DOT engineering team headed by Bob Hilmes won a first place for quality asphalt construction and another award for the top quality asphalt project in the state for resurfacing U.S. Highway 395 from Loon Lake to the Spokane County line near Clayton.

Also, Inland Asphalt and a DOT engineering team headed by Darrel McCallum received certificates of merit for work on I-90 from Hamilton to Havana streets, which provided a smoother new driving surface.

An award for excellence on contract administration went to a DOT team headed by Chad Simonson for repaving of U.S. Highway 2 from state Highway 211 to Newport, which was done by Inland.

Hilmes’ team won a safety award in conjunction with the paving of the North Spokane Corridor from Freya to Farwell, which was built by Acme.

Pothole work limits North Corridor

DOT is on pothole patrol along U.S. 395 near the detour just north of Wandermere at the new North Spokane Corridor interchange. The highway is reduced to one lane in each direction from Wandermere Road to the north end of the Little Spokane River Bridge, and potholes have been emerging in that stretch this winter. Crews are filling them when they get the chance.

Speaking of potholes, Ruby Street south of North Foothills Drive is seeing serious pavement decay this winter. The top layer of asphalt is de-laminating from the layer underneath. The left lane is in the best shape.

Other bad spots are at Mission Avenue and Upriver Drive; Sprague Avenue at Lincoln Street and on Washington and Stevens streets through Riverfront Park.

With more snow in the forecast this week, it’s unlikely that crews will be doing much repair work, but will instead be working on plowing and deicing.

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