May 19, 2012 in Washington Voices

Sprague traffic will be pinched

Lanes closing for street project
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Drivers using Sprague Avenue between Evergreen and Sullivan roads probably will find backed-up traffic beginning Monday when the city starts a reconstruction project that is expected to last two to three months.

The road will be shut down in phases; traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction and a center turn lane in each phase. Each of the four phases should last two to three weeks, and construction crews will tackle the east end of the project first.

The work is being organized to allow continuous access to businesses along Sprague as well as limiting the time each section of the road is closed, said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley. “We tried to minimize the impacts to businesses by doing the phased approach that we did,” he said.

The city’s project manager has visited every business at least twice, and the contractor, Poe Asphalt, is required to have a public liaison coordinator to work with businesses during construction.

The project is being split into two sections midway between Adams Road and Progress Road to avoid having both of those intersections closed at the same time, Worley said. The north side of Sprague to the east of that line will be done first, followed by the south side of Sprague in the same area.

The third phase will be the north side of Sprague on the west end of the project, followed by the south side of Sprague. Detours will be set up and the routes will depend on which phase the construction is in. Traffic will be detoured on Fourth Avenue to the south and Valleyway to the north.

There will not be any open bus stops in the construction zone and riders should use the closest stop outside the construction area, Worley said.

The final 2 inches of asphalt will be laid over two nights at the end of the project, Worley said. That way crews can have a smooth surface with fewer joints and roll in durable inlay tape lane markings as they go. “We get the best finished product we could possibly get,” he said.

In addition to ripping up and replacing the asphalt, crews will upgrade traffic signals, install ramps to make the sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and improve stormwater drainage.

Eighty percent of the $2.48 million project is being funded by a state Transportation Improvement Board grant.

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