May 12, 2014 in City

Spokane airport upgrade continues with new fire station

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Tyrel Schlecht of Piersol Construction grades the gravel bed under the future equipment bay as he works on the new fire station at Spokane International Airport on April 29. The station will have sleeping quarters for five firefighters and a 34-foot observation tower.
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A new fire station at Spokane International Airport is rising from the grassy flat southwest of the Alaska Airlines terminal.

The $8 million project will replace the existing fire station located northeast of the A and B concourses. Airport officials said the old station has reached the end of its useful life.

The 17,700-square-foot facility will have four equipment bays. It’s being built by Lydig Construction under a design by Integrus Architecture, both of Spokane.

While the new building appears to be located in a remote spot, it’s closer to the center of the main runway as well as the crosswind runway, said Todd Woodard, airport spokesman.

The new fire station will also work well for timely responses to a future third runway, included in the airport’s master plan.

Under Federal Aviation Administration rules, the Spokane airport’s rescue and firefighting capabilities have to comply with certain standards. Because the old facility was built in 1978, it doesn’t meet those standards for layout, design and response routes.

Work started on the project last September.

The station will have sleeping quarters for five firefighters and a 34-foot observation tower. It also will have new access roads to Airport Drive and the runways as well as ramps for maneuvering around the station. The design meets LEED standards for energy efficiency.

Completion is expected by the end of the year.

Funding came from the FAA’s airport improvement program, with $880,000 in matching funds from airport revenue.

It’s the latest in a series of improvements at the airport dating back several years, including runway lengthening and leveling, new terminal aprons, redesigned access drives, landscaping along Airport Drive and new rental car facilities.

B-17 returns

The Memphis Belle is due to return to Spokane this week.

The restored Boeing B-17 bomber will be at Felts Field on Saturday and Sunday, offering public flights as a fundraiser for its sponsoring organization.

Last year’s visit by the Memphis Belle drew a lot of interest from the aviation community.

The plane was used in the movie “Memphis Belle,” and will be seen flying the skies of Spokane during rides sold to the public.

The World War II-era aircraft coming to Spokane is not the original Memphis Belle, but a Boeing B-17G that was converted to a water bomber for fire suppression after the war and later restored to look like the Memphis Belle.

The Liberty Foundation operates the aircraft as a moveable historic preservation project and uses the flights to maintain its operating budget.

“Our B-17’s mission is to educate the people of America about the courage of WWII veterans and to remember those brave air crew who never made it home,” a news release from the organization said.

The plane flies from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during its scheduled visits and is open for ground tours after the day’s last flight.

Cost of the flights to the public is $450. To schedule a flight, call (918) 340-0234.

Bloomies take bus

The Spokane Transit Authority reported last week that one out of every four people going to Bloomsday used either the Bloomsday shuttles or regular STA bus service.

The popular shuttles saw a small decline in riders, but riders on regular routes increased by 21 percent over last year.

Half of all shuttle trips originated at Spokane Valley Mall. The second-largest crowd boarded shuttles at NorthTown Mall, which accounted for 29 percent of riders. Another 16 percent came from the Red Barn in Cheney. Service was also offered from Ferris High School.

“We’re very pleased that so many Bloomies chose public transportation again this year,” Steve Blaska, STA director of operations, said in a news release. “We’re extremely proud to be part of the Bloomsday community effort.”

Check credentials of movers

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is warning the public that some moving companies are falsely advertising that they are licensed and insured.

“Customers who hire these illegal companies typically have little or no recourse if their belongings are damaged, lost or stolen,” the commission said in a news release.

To check the credentials of a moving company, got to utc.wa.gov/movingtips or call (888) 333-9882.

Arthur Street repaving today

Arthur Street will be closed today from Fifth to Second avenues. Third Avenue will be reduced to one lane at its intersection with Arthur as part of a repaving project. The $345,000 project is being paid for through the 2004 street bond and federal transit funds.


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