The freeway repair project that brought repeated backups on Interstate 90 in Spokane last year is about to resume, but transportation officials are promising fewer backups and fewer delays this time.
Work on repairing I-90 pavement from the Maple Street interchange to the vicinity of the Geiger Boulevard interchange is set to begin on April 23.
Construction workers are going to be setting up for the work this week with installation of signs.
Al Gilson, spokesman in Spokane for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said drivers can expect a better-flowing freeway during the work this season.
Last year, backups both eastbound and westbound were common because of long-term detours required to rebuild bridge decks over Latah Creek and Abbott Road.
Those portions of the work are finished, but crews still need to complete repair and replacement of damaged concrete panels.
That work will primarily occur during evenings and at night.
Restrictions to a single lane of traffic will be limited to off-peak hours, Gilson said.
During daytime hours, there will be at least two lanes moving in each direction, he said.
Last year, the area had a reduced speed limit of 50 mph around the clock.
This year, crews will use a variable speed limit of 60 mph during daytime hours and 50 mph during construction hours on the evening work schedule, Gilson said.
“Pay close attention to the speed limit signs,” he said.
The work is needed to repair the deep ruts cut into the concrete pavement by studded tires.
Acme Concrete Paving Co., of Spokane, is the contractor on the $7.8 million project.
Elsewhere, paving work is getting started again on the North Spokane Corridor segment from U.S. Highway 2 to Wandermere.
Drivers on U.S. Highway 395 are being warned to watch out for heavy trucks that will be hauling material to the work site. Slowdowns are likely because U.S. 395 is being reduced to one lane in each direction in the vicinity of the new freeway interchange.
Crews will also be working along U.S. Highway 195 to the south of I-90 installing electronic equipment for a variable message sign and traffic cameras between I-90 and Cheney-Spokane Road.
The city of Spokane is getting started today on its big reconstruction project on East Francis Avenue from Division to Freya streets.
Francis is being widened to a five-lane configuration with a center turn lane, continuous sidewalks, bike lanes and planting strips.
The $1.3 million project is being funded through a state grant and local collections of the real estate excise tax.
Traffic could be reduced to one lane in each direction in construction zones.
Also in Spokane, work starts today on installation of combined sewer overflow tanks along South Riverton Avenue from Magnolia to Regal streets, which will force closure of the street.
The $6.9 million project is part of a multiyear upgrade to existing sewer lines that carry both wastewater and storm runoff. Those sewers are designed to spill a mix of sewage and runoff water during heavy storms when lines are overloaded. The system protects the sewer plant from flooding.
Three new underground storage tanks are being installed on South Riverton along with upgrades to sewer lines feeding them. Those tanks will catch excess flow during storms and then slowly feed it to the sewer plant after the storm subsides.
Halme Construction Inc., of Davenport, Wash., is the contractor. Work is expected to last into autumn.
The southbound Sullivan Road Bridge over the Spokane River in Spokane Valley will have traffic reduced to a single lane today to allow for overhead electrical work. Slowdowns are anticipated.
Freya bridge work
Northbound traffic on the Freya Way Bridge continues to be reduced to a single lane for emergency repairs to an expansion joint, a problem discovered during maintenance work. The work could last much of the week.
Latah Bridge forum
The city of Spokane is holding a public open house on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at the Woodland Center in Finch Arboretum to talk about plans to rehabilitate the 1911 Latah Bridge that carries Sunset Boulevard traffic.
The meeting is part of a planning effort in advance of any effort to secure grant funding. Community input is considered significant to the planning work.
Barker Road closed
Barker Road from Appleway to Broadway avenues is currently closed for construction of the third phase of the Green Haven sewer. The closure affects adjacent streets. Local traffic is allowed on portions of the work area.