A half-mile section of Government Way from Dalton to Hanley avenues in Coeur d’Alene will be under construction for the next four months in a long-awaited widening project.
More than $3 million is being spent to expand the roadway from two lanes to four lanes plus a center turn lane to serve the busy commercial area north of Interstate 90.
The work includes installation of new utility lines.
More than $1 million was spent acquiring the right-of-way over the past two years.
Work is expected to start today on the outer portions of the thoroughfare. MDM Construction of Hayden will be doing the work.
Chris Bates, project manager for the city of Coeur d’Alene, said the job will likely cause some slowdowns, but the arterial will remain open and drivers will have access to properties along the route during construction.
“It’s going to be like any other road construction project. There are going to be delays,” he said.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained during the work. The contractor will build the outer portions first. Once that is completed, traffic will be routed to the new pavement so that the existing roadway can be reconstructed, Bates said.
Work on sanitary sewers was started earlier this year and is now being finished. New water lines for Dalton Gardens and Coeur d’Alene will be placed in the street along with a new storm sewer line, he said.
The water lines will provide separate services between the two cities and will improve flows for fire emergencies. That, in turn, will allow for new development, Bates said. Inadequate fire flows had held up economic growth, he said.
The federal government and the state of Idaho are paying for the majority of the project while the city of Coeur d’Alene is financing the water line improvements.
Completion is expected by the middle of September.
Upgrades near new Wal-Mart
Construction of a new Wal-Mart store on the north side of Sprague Avenue at Custer Road in Spokane Valley is forcing a series of improvements that will likely slow drivers moving through the busy commercial area.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on Sprague beginning today through the middle of June.
Work begins with intersection improvements at Custer, including a new traffic light and left-turn lanes to serve the new store.
After that, work will move to the east.
Inga Note, senior traffic engineer for Spokane Valley, said a second phase will involve redesign of left-turn pockets at Sprague and Fancher Road during the week of May 21. The pockets are being extended to allow more vehicles to line up for turns.
At Carnahan Road, a traffic channel is being installed so that drivers leaving Wal-Mart will not be able to turn left to go east on Sprague. That is being done to prevent conflicts with traffic going to the Costco and Home Depot stores to the east of the Wal-Mart site. Work there is scheduled to start on May 29 and continue for about two weeks.
Bike swap brings in $10,000
The inaugural Spokane Bike Swap in March netted $10,000 that is being donated to the Friends of the Centennial Trail for trail improvements and upkeep. More than 2,000 people attended the event and about 100 used bikes were sold. Commercial vendors were pleased by the turnout, said LeAnn Yamamoto, event director.
Work begins near hospital
Reconstruction and repaving begins today on Lidgerwood Avenue and adjoining streets to the south of Francis Avenue in Spokane.
The $1 million job will improve the area near Holy Family Hospital, including Addison and Standard streets. The job also involves work on Columbia, Joseph and Nebraska avenues.
WSU plates prove popular
Cougs are showing their true colors on Washington vehicle plates.
More than 3,400 of the new crimson plates have been sold since the state introduced them in January.
The popularity of the Washington State University identity has raised nearly $80,000 in additional scholarship funding for WSU students.
A portion of the extra $40 it costs for the plates goes to the scholarship fund. The Cougar alumni association is promoting the plates as a great graduation gift.
The WSU plates are the state’s No. 1 seller among those declaring institutional loyalty, according to the WSU Alumni Association.
Highway 20 tunnel going in
The Riverview Bible Camp on state Highway 20 north of Cusick will be the site of a construction project to install a pedestrian tunnel beneath the highway, camp officials said last week.
The work will force traffic onto one lane and is expected to last through May 25. A traffic light will control vehicles moving through the job site, said Tim Mason at the camp.
Transportation center turns 10
The Spokane Regional Transportation Management Center will mark its 10th anniversary this week.
The control center at the former Northern Pacific Railroad depot at First Avenue and Bernard Street houses a nerve center for keeping traffic moving on Interstate 90 and major arterials in Spokane.
It is connected to miles of fiber-optic communication cable, more than 75 traffic cameras, 11 traffic messaging boards and a real-time website at srtmc.org.
In the event of a mishap, crews get instant help on how to negotiate their way through an emergency. Cameras provide a wide-angle view to help guide the efforts. Drivers can check traffic on their routes by going to the website.