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Argonne overhaul begins

Traffic will be restricted for several weeks during major reconstruction project

Commuters who have North Argonne Road on their regular route might want to rethink things for the next few weeks. Spokane County will start a major reconstruction project on Argonne between Wellesley Avenue and Bigelow Gulch Road on Monday.

“It is a full tear-out,” said Spokane County construction engineer Paul Lennemann.

Traffic will be down to one lane in each direction. The southbound lanes will be ripped up first and all traffic will use the northbound lanes. Once an initial layer of pavement is down on the first side, construction crews will switch to the northbound lanes.

“Then we’ll top the whole thing at the same time,” he said.

Residents in the Northwood neighborhood will face an additional challenge. Northbound traffic will not be allowed to turn left on Columbia Drive, the main entrance to the housing development.

Northbound traffic will have to use Jensen Road to the north or Elton Drive on the south end of the development. At some points during construction Columbia Drive will be completely closed at Argonne and all traffic will have to use those secondary access roads, Lennemann said.

Despite the traffic restrictions Lennemann said he doesn’t anticipate a lot of delays for drivers.

“Most of the traffic is light enough that it’s not going to cause too much concern,” he said. “People get organized and they can drive through pretty decent.”

The project will also include the installation of a sidewalk on the east side of Argonne just north of Wellesley. “There are a few houses there on the east side on the corner right when you go up the hill,” he said.

The project is scheduled to be complete by Sept. 23. “It should be done quicker than that, but they are hedging their bets a bit,” Lennemann said.

Inland Asphalt is doing the job for $1.2 million, less than the county’s estimate of $1.7 million.

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