Spokane International Airport taxiways are being rebuilt over the next two years, in part to give arriving planes quicker access to terminals.
The work on the $15.7 million project starts this summer and will continue in 2014.
New diagonal taxiways from the main runway to the terminals are being built next year.
These so-called “high-speed exits” will allow jets to move off the runway more quickly and help airlines save on fuel used to power up the plane on the existing taxiway system.
In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration has identified deficiencies in the existing layout.
“The reconfiguration of the taxiways will enhance the safety, efficiency and overall usability of the airfield by providing taxiway designs that meet current FAA standards,” said a staff report provided to the Spokane Airport Board.
William Winkler Co., of Spokane, was the low bidder on the $12 million construction contract. Acme Concrete Paving Co., of Spokane Valley, was the other bidder.
Ninety percent of the funding for the work is coming from a grant under the FAA’s airport improvement program, which is largely from fees on airline tickets, said Todd Woodard, airport spokesman.
The other 10 percent of the money is coming from airport parking fees and revenue from concessions, he said.
Work this summer will focus on the southeast side of the main runway, where a series of short taxiways come together. One taxiway and a portion of another one will be demolished and a new layout poured in their place.
Woodard said planning for the taxiway changes was included in the airport’s new master plan.
“The intention is to eliminate some of the confusion that is out there,” he said.
Snoqualmie Pass blasting work
Late-day travelers across Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 could find themselves waiting for one to two hours if they arrive at the pass when rock is being blasted.
The Washington State Department of Transportation announced last week that blasting work for a freeway project is being undertaken at 7:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.
Previously, blasting was done at 8 p.m.
Rock on the north side of the freeway is being removed to make room for freeway widening and to improve safety for drivers.
The $571 million project will widen the freeway to six lanes from the vicinity of Hyak to Keechelus Dam. Work began in 2009 and is expected to continue into 2016.
Additional improvements are being planned for the segment from Keechelus Dam to Easton, but that work is not funded yet.
25th Avenue work begins today
In the city of Spokane, work starts today on 25th Avenue from Freya to Rebecca streets for paving, curbs, sidewalk and stormwater treatment at a cost of $360,000.
The westbound lanes of Euclid Avenue from Napa to Crestline streets were closed last Wednesday for water main installation. The south side of the street is being used for single-file traffic.
Pavement grinding and repaving are planned for Wall and Post streets from Providence to Walton avenues; Providence and Walton avenues from Wall to Post streets; and Garland Avenue from Howard to Monroe streets.
The repaving on Garland Avenue will occur after the Garland Street Fair on July 20.
Procession will close streets downtown
A memorial service today for Spokane firefighter John Knighten is going to result in street closures and traffic slowdowns.
The service is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center.
Spokane Falls Boulevard will be closed at 11 a.m. from Browne to Post streets.
The procession from the service to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery near Medical Lake will result in additional closures.
The route will go westward from the Convention Center on Spokane Falls Boulevard and Riverside Avenue to Maple Street, and then south on Maple Street to I-90.
Those streets will all be closed during the procession along with intersecting streets.
The closures will continue along on-ramps to I-90 as the procession proceeds. Freeway drivers should be prepared for slowdowns, stopped traffic and delays starting about 2:30 p.m. as the procession leaves downtown Spokane.
Access to hotels and the Convention Center parking garage will be limited to Spokane Falls Boulevard west of Division Street.
Meters along the route will be closed to parking.
Keller Ferry closed
The Keller Ferry terminals across the Columbia River on state Highway 21 were scheduled for closure starting Sunday and continuing through Aug. 14. The terminals are undergoing modifications to match up with a new larger ferry vessel being assembled in Grand Coulee.
A dedication ceremony for the Sanpoil is planned on Aug. 14.
Sanpoil is an Anglicized form of the name given by indigenous people to the Columbia River as well as the native inhabitants of the region, state officials said. The name was chosen a year ago from more than 500 suggestions submitted by the public.
Foss Maritime Co. won the bid on the $12 million project.
Members of the public are being asked to comment on an update this year of the Spokane County Regional Trails Plan. The plan will identify future trails and existing trails with an eye toward future improvements.