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Sullivan Road closure rescheduled

The closure of Sullivan Road between Kiernan and Trent that was supposed to start tonight has been rescheduled. The section of road will now be closed overnight Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for paving work. A detour route will be set up on Euclid Ave. and Flora Road.

Portion of Sullivan Road shutting down

The section of Sullivan Road between Kiernan and Trent will be closed completely between 9 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Crews will be doing a grind and overlay of the pavement in that section and the road is too narrow to do the work while cars use the road. A detour route will be available via Flora Road and Euclid Ave. If you need to be out and about on those nights, plan on taking another route.

Saturday’s highlights

John Rice, 15, acts out an improvisation scene with Tori Heischel during a creative writing exercise designed to show how characters influence story on Tuesday at RiverCity Leadership Academy in the West Valley School District. RiverCity will close at the end of the school year. SR photo/Tyler Tjomsland

Good Monday morning, everyone. You may have noticed that I ducked out of the office on Friday and didn't post on the blog, but I'm back now with some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. Anyone who drives down Sullivan Road will notice that a construction project has begun north of the Spokane River to Trent. Over the next six weeks or so northbound and southbound traffic will be limited to one lane each direction, so be prepared if you need to head that way.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger had a story on West Valley's RiverCity Academy, which is closing for good at the end of the current school year. Enrollment at the project-based school is down to 17 and the students will go to other alternative schools in the area.

Lisa also had a story on a driving tour of the Lake Saltese area organized by the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. The tour, which was held over the weekend, visited several historical sites in the area. The former Lake Saltese was drained in 1894 to create the Morrison Ranch.

A big crowd turned out for last week's meeting on whether or not there should be an I-90 overpass at University Road. Several neighborhood residents were there to speak out against doing such a project while others were in favor of at least a pedestrian/cyclist overpass. Right now no construction project is planned, the city is doing a study on whether an overpass is needed.

Road work is here

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.

Sullivan Bridge river access focus of meeting Wednesday

RIVERS — Proposals for providing public access to the Spokane River under the new Sullivan Road Bridge project will be revealed 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 16) in Council Chambers at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Suite 101.

The updated Public Access Plan provisions of Spokane Valley's Shoreline Master Program also include details regarding Shelley Lake.

Public access to the river at Sullivan Road is critical to paddlers, including kayakers, canoeists and rafters as well as anglers.

Copies of the Public Access Plan section of the SMP are available on the city website at www.spokanevalley.org by selecting the Planning & Zoning link on the home page, and then the Long Range Planning link.

To sign up for email updates, contact LBarlow@spokanevalley.org or call (509) 720-5335.

Sullivan Bridge project should include river access for paddlers

RIVERS — Plans for replacing Sullivan Road's deteriorating west bridge over the Spokane River apparently include provision for recreational river access, according to canoe, kayaking and rafting groups that have been meeting with Spokane Valley planners.

"Had a very good meeting with engineers and City of the Valley officials last week and it looks like some new access is in the works when the project is done," said Paul Delaney in an email to members of Northwest Whitewater.

City planners will explain the project in detail during a public presentations at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. 

Waters sports enthusiasts should be involved with this process to lend their support to keeping river access on the agenda.

Sullivan and Indiana to reopen today or tomorrow

Drivers will be happy to learn that the City of Spokane Valley anticipates opening the intersection of Indiana and Sullivan sometime today or tomorrow. As recently as last week the finishing date for the project to install concrete in the intersection was estimated at Sept. 21. Construction began on Aug. 1 and during most of that time drivers couldn't make east or west turns onto Indiana.

"We have found a way to open up the concrete intersection earlier than planned," said senior engineer Steve Worley. Crews had planned to install a concrete approach slab next to the Sullivan Bridge made of special, heavy duty concrete that would take 10 days to cure. Worley said the decision was made to use normal concrete for the slab to reduce the time the intersection would be closed. "The impacts to the businesses were more important," he said.

Crews are putting in curbs and temporary barriers and when that is done the intersection will reopen, Worley said.

Coming on Saturday

Our commuting lives are going to be disrupted starting Monday. In Saturday's Valley Voice I'll have details on the Sullivan Road and Indiana Avenue intersection, which is going to be partially shut down for six weeks while concrete is laid. The Broadway Avenue Safety Project also starts Monday, which will create lane closures and delays for 10 weeks on Broadway between Park Road and Pines Road.

The Spokane Valley City Council had discussions ranging from speed limits on the new section of Indiana, railroad quiet zones and I-90 signs. Reporter Lisa Leinberger went to one of the recent open houses at the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center. The center isn't usually open to the public. She'll also have the dates of the three open houses left this summer.  

Weight restrictions on Sullivan bridge

The City of Spokane Valley sent out a press release shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday announcing new weight restrictions on the southbound lanes of the Sullivan Road Bridge. There are actually two bridges there and the one that carries southbound traffic is the oldest and in poor condition. Cracks and other problems have been seen and a new bridge is not likely soon.

Reporter John Craig put together a brief for today's paper and I will be following up with more details in Saturday's Valley Voice. Standard semis are limted to 36 tons and a "pup truck" of two trailers (usually of gravel) separated by a long tow bar is limted to 45.5 tons. Click here for a complete list of the various styles of trucks and their weight limits.

Roads are slipping

The scanner is beginning to hum with a steady stream of accidents caused by the weather, so be careful out there. Sullivan Road near the freeway is currently backed up because of a truck on fire. Drive safely!

2:47 p.m. update: Bigelow Gulch Road sounds particularly bad. A deputy said he has cars all over the ditch up there. It would probably be a good idea to avoid that area.

3:37 p.m. update: It tooks like northbound traffic on Argonne Road is completely shut down just north of Upriver Drive. There have been multiple accidents on the hill.