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Getting There: Sacred Heart beset by water pipe upgrade

Mon., Sept. 10, 2012

Construction to upgrade the maze of underground water pipes near Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is limiting traffic access there for at least another month.

Parts of three streets in the southeast portion of the medical campus have been closed.

“Every day it’s a new adventure,” said Anne McKeon, a staff member at Sacred Heart.

City water engineers have been working with hospital officials to minimize the impact on parking in the area.

Mike Kelly, director of facilities, said he is meeting weekly with the city to plan for closures, but a surface lot at Eighth Avenue and Division Street is going to be closed during work there.

The closed segments are Eighth from Division to Cowley; Cowley from Eighth to Ninth avenues; and Ninth from Cowley to the Division right of way.

Each street is getting two new water mains.

Water reservoirs at Southeast Boulevard and Hatch Street and at Ninth and Pine Street provide service to the downtown area in the water department’s so-called “low zone.”

Sacred Heart is served by a reservoir at 14th Avenue and Grand Boulevard.

Three older water mains pass beneath Sacred Heart medical buildings.

During the project, the city is capping the mains under the buildings and installing new mains around the medical facilities, said Dan Buller, city design engineer on the project.

Pipe sizes range from 18 to 42 inches in diameter. The cost to the city water fund is $2 million.

The work ties in with a project in 2010 that replaced the water main that runs along 11th Avenue from east Spokane to Ninth and Hatch. That project brought major traffic restrictions during excavation.

Mission Avenue resurfacing begins

Resurfacing of Mission Avenue between Union and Pines roads is set to start today with work lasting for about one week.

During the project, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

Access to driveways may be restricted temporarily.

Vehicles must be taken off the roadway during construction.

Officials said congestion on the street is likely. Alternative routes are recommended.

I-90 near Stateline to close overnight

Interstate 90 in the vicinity of Stateline is closing tonight from 7 p.m. until about 5 a.m. so workers can place bridge girders over the freeway as part of the new Beck Road interchange to serve commercial areas there.

Traffic will be detoured onto Seltice Way.

Additional freeway closures are possible as construction continues into the fall.

Havana Street railway overpass bridge opens

The new bridge on Havana Street over the BNSF Railway main line just south of Trent Avenue has opened with two lanes in each direction and a protected sidewalk on both sides. The outside traffic lanes will be marked to indicate that they are a shared bicycle route.

The $7.9 million project is intended to improve access to the county fairgrounds, Spokane Community College and Avista Stadium. The job was financed in part by the Washington State Freight Mobility Board and BNSF, along with other city, state and federal funds.

DUI crackdown yielded 113 arrests

Results are in from the recently concluded effort to catch impaired drivers under the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign from Aug. 17 through Sept. 3.

In Spokane and Whitman counties, officers arrested 113 drivers for driving under the influence. Last year, the same campaign netted 153 arrests.

The campaign is supported through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to curb traffic deaths during one of the deadliest periods of the year.

Highway 395 bridge will be closed overnight

The U.S. Highway 395 bridge over the Columbia River at Kettle Falls will be closed tonight to all vehicle traffic at 7 p.m. and will reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Workers are replacing the deck over the bridge. Traffic is limited to a single lane controlled by a traffic signal at other times.

The detour tonight is on Northport-Flat Creek Road and state Highway 25.

Bicyclists will try to break world record

Bicycle athletes in North Idaho are going to attempt to break a Guinness world record for the most miles ridden in a 24-hour period. The attempt will be part of a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County.

The Big Bike Adventure 2012 will be held at State Line Speedway in Post Falls and begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with a relay team of 10 riders using the quarter-mile oval for the record-breaking attempt. The finish is 24 hours later.

The current record is 561.25 miles.

To reach a distance of 621 miles, the riders will have to average 25.87 mph, organizers said.

“They know it’s a stretch,” said Linda Rohlinger, who is affiliated with the event, which is open to the public.

For more information, go to

Sidewalk along U.S. 2 getting upgraded

Sidewalk upgrades are being installed along U.S. Highway 2 in Riverside to make the walkways comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The work is taking place at the intersection of the highway and Deer Park-Milan Road adjacent to Riverside schools.

Drivers should be alert to closures along the shoulders of the roads there.

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