Latest from The Spokesman-Review
It must be spring, because road work is starting in Spokane Valley. Yesterday I drove down Pines Road and stormwater improvement work has begun near Alki. Yesterday crews were working in the southbound lanes and traffic was down to one lane. After the work is complete, the giant puddle that forms in the northbound lanes whenever it rains should be a thing of the past.
Work is starting today on the Sullivan Road corridor between Sprague Ave. and I-90 and on Sprague between Sullivan and Evergreen Road. Crews will be working to install traffic management cameras and link the traffic signals together. The westbound Sprague curb lane and the northbound Sullivan curb lane are closed, so there may be more congestion than usual. The project is expect to last through mid-May and access to businesses will remain open.
Readers may notice that I said paving of Sprague Avenue between Evergreen and Sullivan was to begin at 6 p.m. yesterday, but nothing happened. Apparently the contractor had a mechanical problem at its plant last night right when paving was supposed to begin. But I'm told everything is fixed and ready to go for 6 p.m. tonight. The paving of the north lanes of Sprague is expected to be complete at 6 a.m. Thursday, barring any more last minute problems.
Word has it that the north side of Sprague Avenue will be paved between Evergreen and Sullivan Roads beginning at 6 p.m. today. The road has been undergoing full reconstruction for months and this will be the final paving. The work is expected to continue through Wednesday night. The south side of Sprague will be paved at some point next week. I'll have more details on that coming later.
Jan and Jack Hamlin enjoy lunch at Donna’s Diner as Sprague Avenue reconstruction is seen reflected in the window Wednesday. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland
Now this is my kind of Monday - cool, breezy and sunny. While I revel in this too-short window of perfect weather, take a look at some of the stories in Saturday's Valley Voice. Several businesses along Sprague Avenue west of Sullivan Road report that they have made it through a recent road reconstruction project in better shape than they thought as motorists continued to find their way to stores and restaurants during construction. The project is now in its second phase and should be complete by the end of August.
Reporter Pia Hallenberg talked to local author Sharon Cramer, who writes for children and adults. She has just finished another children's book, this one dealing with monsters in a child's room. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on an upcoming all-class reunion at West Valley High School. The school will also be inducting 12 former graduates into its Hall of Fame.
Correspondent Steve Christilaw put together a story on swimming lessons being offered by the city of Sokane Valley and why children should take them. The city offers lessons at its pools every summer.
The Sprague Avenue reconstruction project is set to begin a new phase Thursday. Crews will begin work on the eastbound lanes from Evergreen Road to just east of Adams Road. Traffic will continue to be limited to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane. There will be access to businesses, which remain open.
The eastbound lanes were scheduled to be done last but are being done now to deal with a natural gas line that was discovered only inches under the asphalt in some places. Gas lines are usually buried about three feet down so the gas line will have to be moved.
This phase is expected to be complete in mid-August and the entire project is planned to be complete by the end of August. If there is a rule in construction, though, it is to expect delays.
More road work is starting on Sprague Avenue on Wednesday. The street will be down to one lane in each direction at the Carnahan Road intersection for utility work. The lane restrictions will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday and continue through 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 20. There will be flaggers on site to direct traffic and businesses will be open.
Aliyah Forrester, 5, runs with a bucket and shovel Monday, through the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. Her grandparents, Doug and Teresa Sadler, help run the garden. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland
Today you get a look at the stories we've been working on all week. Reporter Pia Hallenberg is continuing her look at local community gardens and recently stopped by the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden in Millwood. The garden still has some of its 57 plots available and also participates in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program, donating produce to Second Harvest.
In a departure from past practice, the Spokane Valley City Council is not allowing the Spokane Valley Fire Department to make a presentation on its replacement levy on the August ballot. The move caught the fire department by surprise, particularly since it gave similar presentations twice previously.
The work on the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project has been delays after a gas line was found only inches under the asphalt. It had to be relocated and buried deeper before the road work could continue. During Tuesday's meeting the Spokane Valley City Council voted to require a development agreement before land on Conklin Road just south of Broadway can be rezoned high density residential. The agreement would set restrictions on setbacks and building height on the land, which is surrounded by single family homes on land zoned low density residential.
The town of Fairfield has several programs for kids running this summer. Free lunch is available in the Community Center on weekdays and the town will again bus children to the Tekoa pool.
Bobbie Beese, left, and Betsy Mott are seen in their store on Tuesday at the Corner Door Fountain and Books in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland
We have another cloudy Monday morning out there, but we also have another batch of Saturday Valley Voice stories as well. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on Corner Door Fountain and Books in Millwood that is owned by three siblings. The store has an eclectic mix of art, books, gifts and more.
The Spokane Valley Business Association met last week an heard a presentation on a planned city project to add stormwater swales to Sprague Avenue between Park and Thierman Roads. Some business owners are concerned about street trees blocking their signs while others are pleased to see some green come into the neighborhood.
The Spokane County Hearing Examiner recently ruled that Liberty Lake homeowner Lloyd Herman can keep most of the improvements he made to his lakeshore property without the proper permits, but he must shrink the size of a cabana/beach house that he built. Stairs and bulkheads will be allowed to stay because they held stabilize the slope, the hearing examiner wrote.
The city of Spokane Valley announced this morning that work at the intersection of Sprague and Custer Road will not be done today as originally thought. The new estimate is that Sprague will be reduced to one lane in each direction for utility and signal work through noon Wednesday. Here's hoping for no rain so they can get the job wrapped up.
Linda Crowe, pastor of Veradale United Church of Christ for the past 17 years, is shown outside the church on Tuesday. She is retiring. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley
Apparently we're back to rainy and cool Mondays now. While you enjoy your morning coffee, we've got a bunch of stories from Saturday's Valley Voice to highlight. The Rev. Linda Crowe has been the pastor at the Veradale United Church of Christ for 17 years. She retired Sunday and it was an emotional experience for Crowe and her congregation.
Reporter Lisa Leinberger has a story on East Valley High School student Emily Harris, who won a statewide art competition. Her painting, titled "My Childhood," will hang in the Cannon Tunnel, which connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol Building in Olympia.
The Liberty Lake City Council has an opening after Susan Schuler announced her resignation so she can move to New Zealand with her husband. Anyone interested in applying for the seat needs to do so by 4 p.m. on May 31. The Spokane Valley City Council had a discussion last week on what projects to fund with the street preservation money they recently set aside. There was some debate over which roads should be done first.
In other road construction news, the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project between Evergreen and Sullivan started today. The project will be completed in four phases to limit traffic impacts. Access to businesses will be maintained. The project should be done by mid-August.
Correspondent Juli Bergstrom Wasson has details on Wags to Riches dog grooming, which opened in Spokane Valley last fall. It's not just a place to go if Fido needs a bath and a trim. Owner Virginia Patton has nearly completed the requirements that will earn her the title of master groomer and she likes to do creative trimmming styles.
There will be some road work on Sprague Avenue near the new Wal-Mart under construction on the west end of town. Sprague is reduced to one lane westbound and one lane eastbout at Custer Road beginning today and going through May 19 for utility and signal work. Expect delays if you are driving through the area. Reporter Mike Prager has more information on this project here (scroll down to second item).
There is also some road work underway on University Road between Sprague Avenue to 16th Avenue beginning today. There will be curb lane closures on and off through Friday for signal upgrades. There will be flaggers and signs to direct traffic.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, there will be resurfacing work on Farr Road between Appleway Blvd. and Sprague Avenue from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. There will be flaggers and signs on site.
A group of traveling prostitutes suspected of settling in Spokane told police they were making good money here because the local competition is so ugly.
One woman is in custody and other arrests are possible as part of an ongoing investigation into a 36-year-old California man who investigators believe has been brokering sex deals while living out of motels in Portland, Seattle and Spokane. Two motel rooms in Spokane were searched this week.
Students from Orchard Center Elementary School march down a street near the school Friday, during a celebration of Martin Luther King Day. The students made signs and performed a skit at an assembly. SR photo/Jesse Tinsley.
It's a windy Tuesday morning out there as we come off a three day weekend and prepare for the first big snowstorm of the winter. But before we look forward to that, it's time to look back to Saturday's Valley Voice. Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by Orchard Center Elementary last week while the students put on a skit on Martin Luther King Jr. and had their own march near the school.
The Spokane Valley City Council voted somewhat reluctantly last week to approve the renewal of the city's street maintenance contract. The contract, which includes some snow plowing duties, has been the topic of discussion for several weeks.
The Spokane Valley Public Works Department held a community meeting last week to talk about this summer's planned reconstruction project on Sprague Ave. between Evergreen and Sullivan Road. The project should start around mid-May and last somehwere between 10-12 weeks.
The congregation of the Veradale United Church of Christ recently voted to become an "open and affirming" congregation. They crafted a statement that welcomes all people, including gays and lesbians.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Sprague Avenue reconstruction project is invited to attend an open house tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Veradale United Church of Christ, 611 N. Progress Road. The project, scheduled for this summer, will rebuild Sprague between Sullivan Road and Evergreen. It is going to cause problems for motorists, but part of the discussion tonight will probably be on how to mitigate the impact as much as possible. Head over for the meeting if you would like to give input to city staff or get more details.
There's some road work going on this week (other than the reconstruction of the Indiana and Sullivan intersection) that will have some impact on how people travel. At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Bowdish Road will be shut down between 17th and 18th for utility work. The work will continue through 6 p.m. Friday. Traffic will be detoured on 16th and 24th to University.
Today crews began work on Sprague Avenue between University and Evergreen. The work is to install fiber optic cable to connect the traffic lights for better synchronization and is expected to last until October. During the project there will be closures of the westbound curb lane on Sprague and the southbound curb lane on University between Appleway and Sprague.