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Work will hinder travel on Sullivan

Construction will close parts of intersection for six weeks

A few business owners in the area of the Spokane Valley Mall stopped by an open house last week to learn about the upcoming construction planned for the Sullivan Road and Indiana Avenue intersection. The event hosted by the City of Spokane Valley in the mall’s community room was lightly attended, but those who came got some help from city engineers who used giant maps to help them plan routes around the roadwork.

Construction is expected to begin Aug. 1. The intersection will be closed in three phases of about two weeks each. There will be one lane of northbound traffic and one lane of southbound traffic at all times. Depending on which phase construction is in, traffic will be limited on which direction it will be able to turn.

People will have the most trouble accessing Indiana east of the intersection. The Indiana Avenue extension project is supposed to be finished by August, said senior engineer Steve Worley, and drivers will be able to use that. Drivers can also get on westbound Interstate 90 and get off at the Sullivan exit to access businesses to the east of Sullivan.

Jack Marr, property manager for Worthy Enterprises, stopped by to see how his employees will be able to get to and from work on Indiana east of Sullivan. Marr said there is no bus stop in front of the Worthy building and that he runs a shuttle to take employees to a bus stop near the Spokane Valley Mall. The shuttle makes multiple trips from 6 to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Marr worked with Worley to figure out how to make those trips during each construction phase. “Your best bet is to go this way,” Worley said as he traced a road on the map. “Is that going to be too much of a hassle for you?”

“We’re just going to have to deal with it,” Marr said.

Marr said the building houses everything from a mortgage company to a Department of Health office. Workers come and go but there isn’t a ton of foot traffic, he said. “It’s only going to be six weeks,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world.”

In the first phase the entire west side of the intersection will be shut down, including Indiana to the west of Sullivan. Traffic heading south on Sullivan will not be able to turn west or east and northbound traffic will not be able to turn west.

In phase two the southeast corner of Sullivan will be closed and Indiana east of Sullivan will be down to one lane going west only. Traffic in that westbound lane will only be able to go north on Sullivan. Southbound traffic on Sullivan can go west on Indiana, but not east. Northbound traffic will not be able to turn at all.

In the final phase the northeast corner of Sullivan will be shut down and there will again be only one lane of westbound traffic on Indiana east of Sullivan. The same turning restrictions on traffic that were in place during phase two will continue.

During all phases of construction the best way to access the Spokane Valley Mall will be Evergreen Road, Worley said. “Avoid Sullivan if at all possible,” he said. “I can’t emphasize that enough.”

The purpose of the project is to replace the asphalt with concrete, but there will be a new lane added on Indiana west of the intersection. Right now there are two lanes to turn south on Sullivan and one to continue traveling east on Indiana. When the project is complete there will be two lanes drivers can use to continue east on Indiana.