June 6, 2011 in City

Getting There: Spokane Falls Boulevard section reopening

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location

An east-west arterial link into downtown Spokane should reopen later this week as workers progress on an initial segment of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Spokane Falls Boulevard has been closed to general traffic for the past three months between Division and Hamilton streets but is expected to reopen by Friday, officials said.

Crews have been realigning Spokane Falls Boulevard and installing a new intersection in the heart of the University District.

The $3.8 million project will take traffic over a new arterial running from Riverside Avenue and Division on the west to Spokane Falls on the east. Completion is expected later this year.

A second phase eventually will complete King Way from Division to Trent Avenue near Perry Street.

The idea is to link Trent and the downtown area at Riverside and reduce traffic through Riverpoint Campus, where students and staff frequently cross as pedestrians.

A new segment of Sherman Avenue will connect Spokane Falls with King Way.

Under the new configuration, eastbound traffic on Spokane Falls will have to stop at Sherman Avenue and turn left to continue east on Spokane Falls. Westbound traffic will make a free right turn to continue on Spokane Falls.

Ann Deasy, city spokeswoman, said the project has been slowed several weeks as a result of complications involving utility work and difficulty excavating rock. Spokane Rock Products is the prime contractor.

Even though Spokane Falls has been closed, many drivers have detoured around the project by using Riverpoint Boulevard through the campus.

Flora and Mission closed

Work has been under way for a month on a major Spokane Valley project to extend Indiana Avenue between Sullivan and Flora roads.

The $2 million project will separate the eastbound and westbound lanes into two roadways and leave a 6.3-acre football-shaped parcel in the middle of a portion of the project to be used for commercial development. Private property owners contributed right-of-way for the project.

The westbound segment will be called Mission Parkway and the eastbound segment Indiana Parkway.

Starting today, the intersection of Flora and Mission Avenue will be closed while a roundabout is constructed. According to Carolbelle Branch, Spokane Valley spokeswoman, traffic will be detoured via Boone, Arc and Baldwin for about a month.

Pedestrian plan meeting

An open house on developing a new pedestrian plan for Spokane will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 29 at the Northeast Youth Center, 3004 E. Queen Ave.

City planners want the public’s help determining which areas most need sidewalks and other improvements.

“The pedestrian plan will establish a pedestrian network emphasizing safe routes to school and connections to transit,” said Marlene Feist, a city spokeswoman. It will also apply to libraries, parks, neighborhoods and commercial areas used heavily by walkers.

Trucking safety lauded

The Washington State Patrol reported last week that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance considers Washington one of the top three states for truck safety. The others are Indiana and New Mexico.

Enforcement tactics were cited in a study by the American Trucking Research Institutes. One enforcement goal is to target automobile drivers who show unsafe behavior around trucks, the WSP said.

Board applicants sought

Spokane is seeking applications for a new Transportation Benefit District board, a taxing district created by the City Council last October to take advantage of a $20 vehicle registration fee now being allowed by the state for local transportation investments.

A seven-member Citizens Transportation Advisory Board will work with city officials to oversee about $2.6 million in new transportation spending.

Membership will include one person from each of the city’s three council districts; one at-large member; and one member each from the Citizens Street Advisory Committee, the Pedestrian, Traffic and Transportation Committee of the Community Assembly of Neighborhood Councils and the Bicycle Advisory Board.

Applications are available at spokanecity.org/ government/tbd or by calling the City Council office at (509) 625-6255. Applications are due June 27 at City Hall.

Second almost finished

Paving on Second Avenue should be finished by today from Browne to Arthur streets.

Final paving work is planned from Howard Street to Sunset Boulevard during nighttime hours on Thursday and Friday. That part of the job was delayed last fall.

Post rebuilding delayed

Work is being delayed until later this month on reconstruction of Post Street from Maxwell to Cleveland avenues.

The $1.5 million project will close the street so the roadbed can be excavated, rebuilt and paved. Work will continue until fall.

Inland Asphalt Co., of Spokane, is the contractor.


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