June 18, 2012 in City

Getting There: Railroad bed will be used as trail in Valley

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Spokane County commissioners have paved the way for a new multiple-use trail on former railroad property east of Appleway Boulevard in Spokane Valley.

The commissioners last week approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with Spokane Valley allowing trail construction as well as what is being called a “linear park.”

Commissioner Mark Richard said the agreement culminates five years of discussion about opening the right-of-way to trail use.

As part of the agreement, the county is asking for protections so that the property can be used for utilities and the possibility of a future high-capacity transit.

The county in 1980 purchased the former rail line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Co., commonly known as the Milwaukee Road.

It is being used for a Spokane Valley sewer interceptor and Appleway from Interstate 90 to University Road.

The remaining right of way east of University has enough property along it to allow for the trail and other uses.

The first phase of the trail has already been completed west of Liberty Lake.

The next phase on the old Milwaukee property would be built from University to Evergreen Road, followed by construction to link the two segments together in the eastern part of the Spokane Valley in the vicinity of Tschirley Road, Richard said.

According to the resolution, “The multi-use trail would be a major link in providing an alternative transportation network through the central portion of the City of Spokane Valley to the City of Liberty Lake.”

The agreement seeks to have Spokane Valley officials work with property owners bordering the right of way to preserve its width for public uses, county officials said.

New weigh station open

A new, $14 million Washington high-tech port-of-entry station along Interstate 90 west of Stateline has now been opened.

The new port is equipped with a weigh-in-motion system and is linked to a commercial vehicle information network to allow truckers to gain entry without having to stop.

The system has automated license plate recognition and vehicle identification that will target enforcement on trucks and carriers known to be high-risk, the Washington State Patrol said in a news release.

The system allows carriers with good safety records and weight compliance to bypass the weigh station, reducing wait times and cutting both fuel bills and exhaust emissions, the WSP said.

Summer is kicking off with the annual emphasis patrol targeting impaired drivers in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties.

Extra officers will be out looking for drunk or drugged drivers from June 22 through July 8.

A mobile WSP impaired-driving unit will be brought into Spokane during evening hours on Fridays and Saturdays for quicker processing of suspects.

The patrols will keep a close eye on drivers June 29-30 during Hoopfest weekend.

The patrols are funded with a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission with support from the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force, which seeks to prevent all traffic fatalities.

Seat belt emphasis yields other citations

In a recently concluded enforcement effort, local law officers issued 247 tickets for failing to wear seat belts during a nighttime seat belt emphasis from May 21 through June 3.

Officers made five arrests for impaired driving and eight felony and five misdemeanor warrant arrests.

They also issued 66 tickets for speeding, 49 for other violations, 16 for improper equipment, 54 for illegal use of cellphones, 22 for child passenger safety violations, 46 uninsured motorist infractions and 31 tickets for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

The nighttime seat belt patrols in the past have been useful for catching other violations, officials have said.

Funding for the extra patrols came from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Parkways party coming to Manito

Spokane Summer Parkways will be held Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Manito Park area.

The course will start at Manito Place and Manito Boulevard and run on the south Manito bicycle path and then wind through the neighborhood, returning to the park at the greenhouse.

Summer Parkways is a family-friendly party in celebration of fitness.

Havana bridge almost done

A new $7.9 million bridge on Havana Street crossing the BNSF Railway lines should be completed by this summer, Spokane city officials said.

Altamont on-ramp closure Thursday

The eastbound Altamont Street on-ramp to Interstate 90 will be closed on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for light-pole replacement.

Farther east, lane restrictions are likely on I-90 from Sullivan to Barker roads.


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