July 20, 2013 in Washington Voices

Road projects are stop-and-go

Two are delayed; several others are on schedule
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Greenacres activist honored

Greenacres neighborhood activist Mary Pollard received Spokane Valley’s July Community Recognition award. The monthly honors are awarded by Mayor Tom Towey as part of the city’s 10th anniversary celebration. Pollard was nominated by City Attorney Cary Driskell. “I was so impressed by the amount of energy she poured into her neighborhood group,” Driskell said. Pollard has also helped organize an annual Fourth of July celebration in Greenacres Park.

Some issues have cropped up that are delaying two planned construction projects in Spokane Valley scheduled to be completed this year.

The city has long planned to add a northbound right-turn lane at Argonne Road and Montgomery Avenue. The project was first set for 2012, then rescheduled for this summer. There are still ongoing negotiations with property owners for rights of way, and the construction start date has been pushed to 2014, Public Works Director Eric Guth said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Sidewalk infill projects on Farr Road from Appleway Boulevard to Fourth Avenue and on Perrine Road from Sprague to Main avenues are also being delayed to 2014 while the city looks for more funding, Guth said.

But several more projects are continuing as scheduled and are set to go out for bid soon, including seven street-preservation projects. The first batch will be advertised for bids beginning Aug. 2 and include Argonne Road from Sprague to Broadway avenues, Sprague from Herald to University roads, Sprague from Havana Street to Fancher Road (eastbound only) and Sprague from Fancher to Thierman Road.

The other set of street preservation projects will be advertised for bids beginning Aug. 16 and include Carnahan Road from Eighth Avenue to the city limits, Indiana Avenue from Pines Road to Mirabeau Parkway and Sprague from Park Road to Vista Road.

The council also discussed which construction projects it would request Washington State Transportation Improvement Board grants for. Staff members have recommended asking for money to improve Mission Avenue from Flora to Barker roads and Broadway Avenue from Flora to Barker, said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley.

The Mission project would add sidewalks and bike lanes and improve stormwater handling. Similar changes are planned for Broadway, and that project also would complete a gap in Broadway between Long and Greenacres roads.

The city could also seek funding for a road-narrowing project on Sprague between Argonne and Park roads similar to what was done on the west end of Sprague, Worley said. Landscaping and swales were added, and one lane was removed from the five-lane road.

The city plans a street-preservation project in the same area this year, and Councilman Dean Grafos asked if that project could be postponed until the lane reduction could be done at the same time to minimize the impact on businesses. “You go in and get it done and then get out of there,” Grafos said.

Worley said that if the condition of Sprague in that area deteriorates much more it will become a more expensive street reconstruction project. Councilman Arne Woodard suggested doing the street preservation and lane narrowing this year and then finishing the landscaping and swales next year.

“I think we have to be extremely careful not to get into reconstruction mode,” Councilman Chuck Hafner said.

The council will vote on which projects it will submit for grant funding at a future meeting.


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