Drivers frustrated with long lines getting off Interstate 90 westbound at Liberty Lake should be seeing traffic move more freely thanks to a new roundabout where the exit, Harvard Road and Mission Avenue converge.
Transportation and Liberty Lake officials held a ceremony Friday to celebrate the new roundabout, which was completed earlier this fall.
Officials said the old intersection caused drivers to wait in long lines for a gap in traffic. The roundabout allows drivers to merge and flow through the intersection without delay.
Roundabouts have become a popular engineering solution at some intersections.
On the North Side, the state installed roundabouts on the Freya Street interchange with the North Spokane Corridor and at Mount Spokane Park Drive and Bruce Road.
In Spokane, the intersection of Wellesley Avenue and A Street was converted to a roundabout about 10 years ago.
Motorists were initially skeptical of roundabouts, but once they are familiar with the pattern of traffic moving counterclockwise through the circle, the roundabouts become easy to navigate.
Francis bridge opening
In another state construction project, crews last week were laying down lane stripes in advance of the opening of the Francis Avenue bridge just east of Market Street.
Work on lane markers was also being done at the intersections of Francis and Market and Francis and Freya.
A new 455-foot bridge was built by Graham Construction under a $14 million bid. The job over the past year included reconstruction of the Francis and Freya intersection.
The new bridge will cross future lanes of the freeway as well as BNSF Railway lines.
Transportation plan comments sought
Members of the public will get a chance to comment on a long-range transportation plan for the Spokane region in a pair of open houses.
The first will be Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cheney Library, 610 First St.
The second open house is Nov. 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St.
The Horizon 2040 update will outline plans for increased traffic, transit, freight, rail and air travel, as well as nonmotorized transportation.
The plan by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council also must show that funding for proposed projects will be available.
For more information, go to srtc.org.
• The Washington State Transportation Commission is also asking for the public’s help in establishing transportation priorities. It is conducting a statewide survey online at voiceofwashingtonsurvery.org. Nearly 30,000 people have filled out the survey, which will close in the next several days.
Rebuild of Third nearly finished
Third Avenue reconstruction from Division to Arthur streets is nearly complete, Spokane city officials said.
The $2.2 million job still needs finishing touches on striping, sidewalks and traffic signs.
Bridge Avenue between Lincoln and Monroe streets has reopened with a realigned traffic pattern that makes room for the Centennial Trail.
Work continues on Post Street near City Hall, which involves a crossing for the Centennial Trail, construction of new park amenities to the north of City Hall and conversion of Post to a one-way street northbound.
Post is closed during construction.
Main Avenue west of Monroe Street is closed again this week for sewer repairs.
Spokane Valley closures
In Spokane Valley, Eighth Avenue east of Wilbur Court is closed through Tuesday for utility work.
Adams Road from Trent to Wellesley avenues is closed through mid-November for sidewalk improvements.
Indiana Avenue from Pines Road to Mirabeau Parkway is down to one lane for construction this week.
Sands Road Bridge at Chester Creek is closed starting at 7 a.m. today through 7 a.m. on Nov. 4.
Sprague Avenue from Park to Vista roads is reduced to two lanes through Tuesday for resurfacing and stormwater work.
Sullivan Road at the Spokane River is reduced to one lane in each direction through November.
Snoqualmie blasting ends for season
Rock-blasting closures on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass have ended for this construction season, state officials said.
But slowdowns are still possible because of bridge work between Easton and Ellensburg, and paving near Easton.