Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

Sullivan Road upgrades start Monday

Sat., April 20, 2013

The first of many road projects that will affect drivers in the Sullivan Road corridor is scheduled to start Monday.

Motorists can expect a reduced number of lanes, congestion and delays between the Spokane River and Trent Avenue over the next six weeks.

During construction one lane of traffic will be open in each direction.

In phase one, which starts Monday, crews will be working in the center island to upgrade stormwater drainage and installing signal loops in the intersections. That work is expected to take about two weeks.

During the second phase, the pavement on the east side of the road will be ground down and replaced while traffic is routed to the west side. An additional layer of asphalt will be put on top to add strength to the road, which isn’t thick enough for the high amount of truck traffic that it carries, said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley. “We’re going to make the pavement thicker, but we have to repair the weak areas first,” he said.

When the east side is complete the same work will be done to the west side.

The project does not include any improvements to the Euclid Avenue and Kiernan Road intersections even though they are in bad shape, said project manager Craig Aldworth. The city has grant money to design a concrete intersection at Sullivan and Euclid and hopes to get construction money to redo both intersections in concrete, he said.

“We don’t want to repave it and then rip it out and put in concrete,” Worley said.

A fourth phase – grinding and repaving sections of Sullivan north of Kiernan to the Trent Avenue overpass – hasn’t been scheduled, Aldworth said. “That’s going to be done at night,” he said.

The road there is so narrow that Sullivan must be shut down in that area while work is going on, Aldworth said. “It’s very difficult for people coming up off Trent to turn,” he said. “It’s very narrow.”

The work should last just two nights. There will be a detour set up via Euclid and Flora Road for people who need access to the Industrial Park. There will not be a detour route available to the west of Sullivan. “We’ve spoken to the Spokane Industrial Park and this will work for them,” Aldworth said.

A steady stream of projects is planned for the north Sullivan Road corridor this summer, most of which do not yet have firm start dates. Those include retrofitting the stormwater drains on the Sullivan Bridge and resurfacing the Union Pacific Railroad overpass on Sullivan just south of Marietta Avenue. Both projects will result in lane closures and traffic delays.

Farther south on Sullivan there is already a traffic signal project underway between Interstate 90 and Sprague Avenue that has shut down the northbound curb lane.

Click here to comment on this story »