March 23, 2013 in Washington Voices

Major road projects planned

Argonne, Sullivan and Pines are all scheduled for paving projects this summer
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Construction projects are planned this summer for Spokane Valley’s three major north-south arterials plus Sprague Avenue.

The city and the Washington State Department of Transportation are planning paving projects on Argonne, Sullivan and Pines roads. Other projects include safety upgrades, sidewalk projects, stormwater improvements and a new roundabout.

“This is our busiest year,” said Spokane Valley senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley.

Work on Sullivan Road will start in mid-April. The project includes a grind and overlay from the Spokane River to Trent. The first phase will be stormwater work in the middle of the road, then paving will be tackled in two phases.

The fourth phase, the section north of Kiernan, will be handled differently. “Because that’s so tight in there, we’re doing that at night,” said project manager Craig Aldworth.

While the road is under construction, one lane will be open in each direction.

Other projects are also planned for the Sullivan corridor. The bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad line will get a layer of pavement. Stormwater drain retrofitting on the bridge over the Spokane River will begin in June and last less than a month. Northbound traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane.

The work on Pines, which serves as state Highway 27, will stretch from 32nd to Trent avenues. The Washington State Department of Transportation will do a grind and overlay of asphalt from 32nd Avenue to Mansfield. Crack sealing and minor repairs will be done between Mansfield and Trent.

Work is estimated to start in mid-June and last until Labor Day, said WSDOT eastern region spokesman Al Gilson. “There will be lane restrictions and maybe alternate access to businesses,” Gilson said. “We do our best to accommodate businesses at all times.”

Major paving will take place during the night to reduce traffic impacts, Gilson said.

Also on Pines, the city is partnering with Union Pacific to make improvements to the railroad crossing near Mansfield. The railroad will install a new gate over the southbound lanes while the city adds a sidewalk on the west side of Pines and extends the left turn lane on southbound Pines.

Several projects are planned for the Argonne Road corridor north of Sprague Avenue. One was held over from last year. The city will add a northbound right turn lane at Montgomery and make changes to the intersection at Knox. Traffic will likely be down to one lane in each direction, Worley said.

“It depends on the work that’s being done,” he said. “We’re thinking about doing this work at night.”

Various pedestrian safety improvements, including signal work and the addition of pedestrian countdown timers, are planned for Argonne between Empire and Knox. The section of Argonne between Sprague and Broadway will be repaved this summer as part of the second phase of the city’s street preservation projects. The one-way section will be down to two lanes during construction.

The rest of the paving projects in phase two are Sprague from Fancher to Thierman, Sprague from Farr to University and Sprague from Havana to Fancher (eastbound lanes only).

The city also plans to finish last year’s Sprague Avenue swale project, which includes doing a grind and overlay of Sprague between Thierman and Park. The two-week project is expected to begin in late April or early May.

The third phase of the city’s street preservation plan includes Eighth Avenue from McKinnon to Fancher and Carnahan Road from Eighth Avenue to the southern end. That phase is dependent on how much funding is left after the first two phases are complete, Worley said.

If the city has more money left than expected, it has identified several projects to add to phase three. Those contingency projects are 32nd Avenue from University to Bowdish Road, 24th Avenue from Pines to McDonald Road, Saltese Road from 16th Avenue to McDonald and Blake Road from Saltese to 24th Avenue.

A few sidewalk projects may also cause some traffic disruption for neighbors. New sidewalks will be added on 24th Avenue from Adams Road to Sullivan, on the west side of Adams between Trent and Wellesley avenues and on the north side of Wellesley between Sullivan and Isenhart.

Residents in the southwestern corner of the city will also have some disruption caused by stormwater projects. Drainage improvements are planned for Dickey Road from 11th to 14th and on 14th Avenue from Custer to Carnahan.

One project the city has planned for this year still has a question mark by it. The city plans to extend Mansfield Avenue east of Pines Road, but must acquire and tear down some duplexes. The city can’t move forward with that until it completes a required noise study, Worley said.

Residents in the Liberty Lake area won’t escape the construction season unscathed. The Department of Transportation is planning to build a roundabout at Harvard Road and Mission Avenue. The intersection also includes the westbound I-90 off-ramp and has been the site of numerous collisions.

“It is our intent to keep Harvard and Mission open to traffic,” Gilson said. The work, which is expected to begin sometime this summer, will impact the freeway ramp. “We are definitely going to try to keep things open, but there will be some ramp closures depending on the work,” he said.

Spokane County isn’t planning any road projects in the Spokane Valley area, but they will be realigning the Centennial Trail near Stateline. Right now the trail crosses a busy road, said plans and contract engineer Tim Schwab. “This will reroute it from the dog park entrance,” he said. “It will take it along the river side of the road there and then route it under the new bridge and connect back up to the existing trail fairly close to I-90.”

The project is expected to start in mid-May and take four to six weeks to complete. Trail users will be unaffected during construction. “Once the new trail is open, the old trail will be abandoned and removed,” Schwab said.


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