April 7, 2014 in City

Getting There: Traffic cameras going up along U.S. Highway 195

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Four new traffic cameras are being installed along U.S. Highway 195 in southwest Spokane to a join a network of nearly 100 cameras across the Spokane region.

Once the cameras are in place, drivers will be able to check on traffic conditions at each location by computer or smartphone.

Currently, camera coverage on U.S. 195 extends as far south as Cheney-Spokane Road.

The new cameras will be at Qualchan Drive, south of Meadowlane Road, at the Spokane city limits near Hatch Road and at White Road. In addition to providing video images, the equipment includes traffic data monitors that can read traffic flow and alert crews when backups occur.

Colvico Inc., of Spokane, won a $610,000 contract to install the cameras and a fiber-optic cable that will link them with transportation headquarters.

All of the cameras in the region provide streaming video to transportation managers and the public.

The images are available at Spokane’s Regional Traffic Management Center at srtmc.org.

Maintenance crews and emergency workers use the cameras to judge road conditions or respond to incidents along Interstate 90, state highways and major arterials.

Transportation officials have encouraged motorists to become familiar with the resource so that they can avoid congestion or backups from accidents.

Cameras are positioned across the region, including mountain passes, and are concentrated in heavily traveled urban areas. For locations outside of Spokane, go to wsdot.com/traffic or 511.idaho.gov.

In a second wiring project, the state is planning to upgrade illumination along I-90 from the Liberty Park interchange to Havana Street. The $1.1 million job involves refitting 81 light standards that are 40 feet tall and 29 wall-mounted lamps along underpasses.

All of the fixtures will be equipped with newer energy-efficient light-emitting diode lamps, which last longer and require less maintenance.

Colvico won the contract for the work, including replacement of wiring and conduit as needed.

Last summer, a similar project replaced lighting along the I-90 viaduct downtown eastward to the Liberty Park interchange.

Francis work begins today

Work begins today on rehabilitation of Francis Avenue from Division Street to Crestline Street at a cost of $3.3 million.

The street will remain open to traffic with work being done on half of the roadway at a time, officials said.

Shamrock Paving Co., of Spokane, won the contract.

The job is among the last in a series of street rehabilitations in a 10-year program approved by Spokane.

Annual Bike Swap kicks off Saturday

The popular Spokane Bike Swap is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St.

Admission is $5. Children 12 and under get in free.

Persons wishing to sell a bike can register early at spokanebikeswap.com. Bikes for sale are checked in Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. The cost to sell a bike is $5.

The sales fee is waived for children’s bikes priced at $50 or less.

Free helmets will be handed out for child bike purchases from the bike corral.

Proceeds go to Friends of the Centennial Trail for trail improvements.

Traffic light planned for South Regal

A new traffic light is being installed at South Regal Street and Palouse Highway to serve a new shopping center anchored by Target at the intersection.

The four-way stoplight and adjacent street work is being financed by the commercial development at a cost of $1 million.

The first phase of the project starts today. Access to city soccer fields will be limited at times.

On Sunday at 7 p.m., the contractor will set up a temporary detour with a 20 mph speed limit and limited turn opportunities. Palouse Highway will be closed to traffic east of Regal.

Target is expected to open in July.

I-90 upgrade will close lanes in pass

I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass will be reduced to one lane each direction starting Sunday as part of the preparation for this year’s work on widening that stretch of freeway to six lanes.

The single-lane configuration will be in effect for two weeks.

In addition, the section from Price Creek to Gold Creek will have one lane closed in each direction from 7 a.m. today to 9 a.m. Friday.

State transportation officials said they expect congestion during busier travel times and that drivers may be forced to wait their turn to get through the construction zone. Delays could be as long as two hours.

For the latest information on traffic and delays, go to wsdot.com or dial 511.

Murray holding oil train hearing

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will hold a hearing Wednesday to question top federal transportation and safety officials and the city of Seattle on the safety of crude oil rail shipments.

As many as 55 million barrels of oil are expected to pass by rail through Washington state to refining and shipping facilities this year. Much of that oil moves through Spokane County, the Columbia Basin and North Idaho.

As the industry expands, that number could rise to 200 million barrels annually, according to a news release from Murray’s office.

The hearing is at 6:45 a.m. PDT.


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