Estimated price for 2013 road projects lowered

THURSDAY, OCT. 4, 2012

The Spokane Valley City Council got its first look Tuesday at a preliminary list of street preservation projects for 2013. There are 17 roads on the list that are scheduled for a grind and overlay or just an overlay, including sections of Sprague Avenue, Sullivan Road, Adams Road, Park Road, Saltese Road, 32nd Avenue, Argonne Road, Eighth Avenue and 24th Avenue.

Public Works Director Eric Guth said city engineers evaluated the roads scheduled for improvement in 2013 in the city’s pavement management plan. “There were a few we didn’t necessarily agree with,” he said. He recommended delaying some projects and moving up other projects scheduled for later years. “We believe these projects are in worse shape than some of those slated for 2013,” he said.

Guth said that some streets can be helped by less expensive crack sealing and patching. That would buy the city three to five years before something more extensive like a grind and overlay is needed, he said.

Guth said he also reduced the estimated cost of the projects from the $4.8 million in the pavement management plan to $3.3 million. “That is based off numbers we saw in 2012,” he said. The $3.3 million estimate does not include the six sections of road being considered for crack sealing and patching.

The city does not have enough funding to complete all the projects on the list in 2013, Guth said. The additional projects were included in case additional money becomes available through grants, he said.

In other business, the council voted unanimously, with Councilwoman Brenda Grassel absent, to award a bid for a sidewalk project on 24th Avenue between Adams Road and Sullivan Road to Cameron-Reilly LLC in the amount of $241,372. The bid was the lowest of three bids received.

“This is an important project for Sunrise Elementary,” said Councilman Arne Woodard. “I’m really glad we’re getting this thing done.”

The council also reviewed proposed comprehensive plan amendments that are being initiated by the city. One proposal is to rezone several parcels of land located just south of Interstate 90 and west of Eastern Road from office to community commercial. The businesses in that area include a storage facility and a trucking company, said senior planner Mike Basinger. “We would like to zone them something more appropriate for what’s in there,” he said.

The other proposal involves parcels between McDonald Road and Blake Road north of Trent Avenue. The properties have split zoning, with one part zoned low-density residential and the other part zoned corridor mixed use. “It does create some problems for property owners,” Basinger said. “That was a carryover from Spokane County that we just missed.”

Basinger said he will likely look at each of the five parcels involved to determine which zone they should be in. Some are split nearly down the middle while others just have a small strip zoned differently.

There was also some discussion on what street projects to submit for Community Development Block Grant funding. The city is awarded some grant money every year and should get an estimated $259,000 in 2013, said planning manager Scott Kuhta. The money must be used for water, sewer or street projects in low- to moderate-income residential neighborhoods. The city does not provide sewer or water service.

The suggested projects include resurfacing Adams Road from Sprague to Fourth avenues and Fourth from Park Road to Thierman Road. The reconstruction of Farr Road from Appleway Boulevard to Eighth Avenue is also on the list. The three projects total $1 million, well over the estimated funding.

Councilman Ben Wick asked if the city could use CDBG funds to add sewer to an area east of Barker Road and tie it into the county’s system. “I don’t know if that would work,” Wick said.

The city hasn’t had any discussions about that with the county, said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley. “I hadn’t thought about that for a CDBG grant,” he said.

There might also be a problem because of the residential neighborhood requirement, Kuhta said. “I think we might have a little bit of an issue because it’s all commercial out there.”

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