September 23, 2013 in City

Getting There: I-90 work will cause delays for six weeks

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Background and the latest updates

Construction on Interstate 90 in Central Washington will be causing lane restrictions and likely travel delays for the next six weeks, state transportation officials said.

The work will mainly affect travelers headed west to the Puget Sound region for weekends.

Bridges over the Yakima River west of Ellensburg are being repaired. Crews will remove a thin layer of concrete on the bridges and replace it with a new, smoother layer of concrete.

Drivers headed westbound on Fridays will need to plan for up to two hours of additional travel time. Westbound travel on Saturday will take an estimated extra hour from 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., officials said.

On Sundays, eastbound traffic may see delays of two hours or more between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The work on the freeway west of Ellensburg is just one of a series of ongoing construction projects that have been causing delays in Central Washington.

A major widening project east of Snoqualmie Pass has resulted in freeway closures during evening blasting work along Lake Keechelus.

One-hour blasting closures are planned there today through Thursday at 6 p.m.

Those evening closures will continue on Mondays through Thursdays until late October, when the project shuts down for the winter. The work will resume in April.

The best thing travelers can do is check for advisories at wsdot.com.

Last Friday afternoon, traffic in both directions from Ellensburg to North Bend was estimated to be 20 to 25 minutes slower than unimpeded travel.

Widening of I-90 east of the pass began in 2009 and is expected to continue through 2017 in two phases. Funding for the $551 million project came from bonds sold under a gas-tax increase in 2005.

The 15-mile project involves adding a new lane in each direction from Hyak to Keechelus Dam; replacing deteriorated concrete pavement; improving avalanche protection; straightening curves; rebuilding bridges; and stabilizing rock slopes.

The state is using $108 million in construction savings to design improvements from Keechelus Dam to the Stampede Pass interchange.

Kendall Yards leg of trail opens Friday

The Kendall Yards segment of the Centennial Trail will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at noon. The event at the Nest Plaza, 1335 W. Summit Parkway, will run until 2 p.m.

Guest speakers, a community open house and light refreshments are planned.

Greenstone Corp., the developer of Kendall Yards, worked with city, state and federal officials to open the trail segment from Monroe Street westward to the existing trail.

As part of the project, the city used a state grant to purchase $2 million of conservation land below the trail in the river gorge.

In addition, work is underway along Bridge Avenue, the Post Street Bridge and at Riverfront Park to provide the westward link heading out of the downtown core.

Ben Burr Road will be rerouted

The battle over Ben Burr Road in southeast Spokane County has ended in a truce.

The Spokane County commissioners earlier this month unanimously approved a redesign of Ben Burr Road south of 57th Avenue.

The new plan moves Ben Burr Road to the east from its present location by 150 feet.

Dave Black Properties LLP had sought to eliminate the Ben Burr segment from 57th to 61st avenues and won approval in 2011, but was under the gun to come up with a new trail link to replace the lost roadway.

Neighbors had fought that plan for years.

A new segment of Ben Burr Road would now be built east of the existing road and would connect with a curving portion to the south, where another developer wants to build apartments.

Trail routing is still under discussion.

Ted Teske, a Southgate neighborhood representative, told commissioners that he and his group conditionally agree with the new plan, pending trail routing.

SCC visitors should plan for extra time

Spokane Community College is warning its staff and students to be prepared for delays crossing the Greene Street Bridge at the northwest end of campus.

Repair work to strengthen the bridge begins today. Southbound drivers may want to find an alternate route or allow more time to get to classes, college officials said.

Road projects around Spokane

Also in Spokane, lane restrictions will begin Tuesday through Sept. 30 on the Washington Street Bridge and tunnel under Riverfront Park for bridge joint repair.

Painting and cleaning work is planned today along the Maple Street exit from I-90 and Freeway Avenue as part of a wider effort to make entrances to the city more attractive.

A series of nine projects to slow residential traffic in Spokane is starting today and will continue through October. They involve new signs, lane stripes, ramps, curb extensions and handicapped ramps.

Also in the city, a new 1 million-gallon sewer overflow tank is being installed on the west side of Ray Street at 21st Avenue starting today. Southbound travel will be reduced to one lane there.

Liberty Avenue from Oak Street to Ash Place and Ash Place from Liberty to Dalton streets will be closed for construction this week.

Work set to begin around the Valley

In Spokane Valley, lane restrictions will be in place on 14th Avenue from Custer Street to Carnahan Road for stormwater disposal work from today through Oct. 14.

Carnahan Road from Eighth to 16th avenues will close on Tuesday through Friday for resurfacing.

Indiana Avenue from Pines Road to Mirabeau Parkway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction starting today through mid-October for resurfacing.

Also, Wellesley Avenue from St. Charles to Larch roads will have lane restrictions through October for sidewalk improvements.

Aero Road closing for repaving

Aero Road in southwest Spokane County will close from Wednesday until Oct. 1 for repaving.

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