Thousands of drivers are going to have to find a different way to get around northwest Spokane County this week.
Waikiki Road at Five Mile Road is closing today through Friday as part of a larger construction project.
Construction Engineer Paul Lenneman of Spokane County said a piece of the project involves creating 17- to 20-foot-deep stormwater retention wells to handle runoff.
Lenneman said the depth of the wells creates a risk of a roadway collapse if traffic were allowed to continue.
“I don’t want to put traffic close to that large hole,” he said.
The closure will run on Waikiki from Banbury Drive to Five Mile Road and on Five Mile Road from Waikiki to Elma Drive, and will include evening hours.
The $1.78 million construction work began earlier this spring and will include a new roundabout at Waikiki and Mill roads.
Work on the roundabout will cause another closure in July and August.
Waikiki carries an average of 15,000 vehicles a day.
Many of those trips will now have to divert to Division Street north of Francis Avenue.
Waikiki was initially reduced to one lane in each direction earlier this spring.
When completed, portions of the arterial will be converted from a four-lane configuration to a three-lane system with two through lanes, a middle turn lane and two bike lanes.
That is expected to make the route safer.
Two lanes in each direction will continue to serve traffic on Wall Street and Waikiki from Country Homes Boulevard to Whitworth Drive. That segment will get a new coating to protect the pavement from deteriorating.
New pavement is going down on the segment from Whitworth Drive to Hastings Road.
Inland Asphalt Co. is the general contractor.