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Doomsday Hill gets a total remake

After being closed for over a year to install a 700,000-gallon concrete, underground combined wastewater/stormwater storage tank along Pettet Drive (Doomsday Hill), the pedestrian-friendly road is now open in time for this year’s Bloomsday road race. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
After being closed for over a year to install a 700,000-gallon concrete, underground combined wastewater/stormwater storage tank along Pettet Drive (Doomsday Hill), the pedestrian-friendly road is now open in time for this year’s Bloomsday road race. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Construction of a new stormwater holding tank along Doomsday Hill has resulted in a complete makeover of Pettet Drive.

Bloomsday officials last week said they were concerned that the hill would not be ready for the 12-kilometer race on May 7.

There is so much construction occurring in Spokane that there is fear it will impede the race.

Mark Starr, president of the Lilac Bloomsday Association, said he has been working with city officials and business owners to make sure that the 41st running of Bloomsday is a trouble-free experience for participants.

The uphill leg on Pettet Drive has long been known as the most challenging part of the course, which traverses the Spokane River downstream from downtown.

The city spent $7 million there installing a holding tank to collect wastewater during storms and then releasing it to the wastewater plant for treatment rather than spilling it into the river.

As part of the project, the roadway was narrowed to two through lanes for vehicles, but the entire west, or downhill, side of the street has been turned into a trail.

Halme Construction, of Spokane, recently finished up the landscaping portion of the project, including hydroseeding.

“Didn’t they do a beautiful job on that?” Starr said.

City officials said they plan to install temporary fencing along the landscaped section to protect it from foot damage.

As in previous years, the race will start on Riverside Avenue and finish up in the middle of Monroe Street at the intersection of Summit Parkway.

Participants will then use the Monroe Street Bridge to re-enter downtown.

T-shirt distribution will be on Spokane Falls Boulevard near City Hall.

Julie Happy, spokeswoman for the city, said construction work is going to be sealed up and filled to make room for the Bloomsday crowd.

Spokane Falls Boulevard and the south side of Riverfront Park have been closed for construction.

Spokane Falls Boulevard next to the park will be open by Bloomsday.

Starr said property owner Dru Hieber has offered to allow Bloomsday to set up race festivities in her parking lot at the corner of Stevens Street and Main Avenue.

In addition, Stevens and Washington streets will be closed to allow foot traffic to move to and from the north side of the river.

The corporate cup postrace celebration will be in the undisturbed portion of Riverfront Park on Havermale Island.

Highway and interstate construction

On state highways, repaving is about to get started on Interstate 90 from the Fishtrap interchange to Sprague Lake. A contractor is getting set up this week.

U.S. Highway 395 is closed in Ferry County at Matsen Creek due to a washout. A contractor is on the site working to reopen the highway. A detour is available for passenger cars.

Also in the Spokane region, state Highway 21 in Ferry County is undergoing utility work with traffic restrictions near Manila Creek Road.

The same highway is also closed on the North Fork of the Sanpoil River due to a washout. Work is underway to install a temporary bridge.

State Highway 291 is getting new paint on the centerline in the Suncrest area.

The state Highway 25 bridge over the Columbia River at Northport will have lane restrictions during repair work.

Spokane work

In Spokane, new handicap sidewalk ramps are being installed at Wellesley Avenue and Assembly Street.

Work on a new stormwater holding tank at Adams Street and Sprague Avenue will resume on Wednesday. That will result in lane restrictions on Sprague and First avenues.

In the East Central neighborhood, another stormwater tank project will result in traffic restrictions on Fifth Avenue and surrounding streets.

And another stormwater project will result in closure of Upriver Drive from Freya to Rebecca streets. The Centennial Trail will be detoured through the area.


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