North Spokane Corridor
The first leg of the long-sought North Spokane freeway opened in August 2009 and provides partial achievement of a high-speed, non-stop link from Interstate 90 to the edge of the Spokane urban area, a distance of 10.5 miles. The northern half of the project from Francis Avenue to Wandermere Road on U.S. Highway 395 is scheduled to open in 2011. It will complement the two-lane section opened in 2009, and will have interchange access for the two major North Side highways – U.S. 2 and 395.
Nearly $570 million has been committed to planning, right-of-way and construction so far. That includes a $35 million federal economic stimulus grant awarded in 2010. DOT estimates it will need another $1.6 billion to finish the freeway from Francis to I-90 and could spend another 20 years on the job. By then, the total cost could swell to $3 billion.
As early as 1946, state officials called for building a companion roadway adjacent to Division Street to improve North Side traffic flow. The push for a freeway accelerated in the 1960s and ‘70s, but a route through the Logan and Lidgerwood neighborhoods ran into opposition and stalled.
Selection of the current route on the east side of Hillyard occurred after BNSF Railway closed its facilities there in the 1980s, leaving behind large hunks of little-used property. Opposition to the current project has largely been limited to residents in the path of the freeway and a handful of activists.
Proponents see the freeway as means to increase efficiency of the region’s roads, allowing freight and general traffic to move through the area more quickly and creating jobs and economic growth in the process.
Summary written by staff writer Mike Prager
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Latest updates in this topic
Corridor is in transportation plans
April 5, 2013 in City on Page A6 OLYMPIA – Legislators began hearings Thursday on competing but similar multibillion-dollar spending plans for Washington’s highways, bridges, ferries and mass transit. Prepared separately by the House and Senate, the two … 1
Getting There: Officials seek input on plans for trail
Money would be used to extend North Spokane corridor
Feb. 21, 2013 in City on Page A1 OLYMPIA – The North Spokane corridor is among the beneficiaries of the Legislature’s latest bid to boost gas taxes and other fees. The long-running road construction project – sometimes called … 6
Spin Control: Lobbying season kicks off in Olympia
Jan. 27, 2013 in City on Page B2 OLYMPIA – There may be things for which the Spokane area reasonably envies other communities around the state, but lobbying the Legislature for a list of collective hopes and dreams …
McMorris Rodgers, Cowan share views during debate
Oct. 10, 2012 in City on Page A5 The Democratic opponent of U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the November election used much of their first debate working to portray the incumbent Republican as an ingrained fixture in … 31
Getting There: Group aims to build museum at Felts Field
Oct. 8, 2012 in City on Page A1 A nonprofit organization is gearing up for a campaign to create a new military and aerospace museum at Felts Field in northeast Spokane. The Spokane Airport Board recently approved a …
Politicians hail progress on corridor
Oct. 3, 2012 in City on Page A6 It may be an election year, but Democrats and Republicans agreed on Tuesday that completion of the northern half of the North Spokane Corridor was a bipartisan accomplishment. U.S. Sen. … 1
Former railroad span now links office park, Centennial Trail
Oct. 1, 2012 in City on Page A1 Bill Kessler, of Spokane, has a new shortcut to get to the Centennial Trail. Kessler, who travels on foot, was heading to a ballgame Friday at Mission Park when he … 10
Clark: Traveling north/south freeway a religious experience
Sept. 27, 2012 in City on Page A5 Like any brand-new religious convert, I can’t shut up about how damned enlightened I’ve become as opposed to you – the unwashed jerks who don’t know jack ($#!^). So bear … 8
Transportation chief visits, cites North Spokane Corridor
Aug. 24, 2012 in City on Page A5 U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood toured the North Spokane Corridor on Thursday to call attention to a new effort to ease transportation bottlenecks that stall the delivery of goods around … 11
North corridor receives funding
June 20, 2012 in City on Page A5 The North Spokane Corridor project is going to receive another $10 million in federal transportation funds to continue work on the freeway in the vicinity of Hillyard, members of Congress … 4
Inslee, McKenna square off at Bing
June 13, 2012 in City on Page A1 The two leading candidates for Washington governor debated for the first time on Tuesday and agreed that new taxes aren’t needed to improve schools. But they disagreed on most other … 19
Getting There: Northern corridor segment to open
June 11, 2012 in City on Page A1 The sweeping bridges over U.S. Highway 395 north of Wandermere will come to life with traffic on Wednesday with the opening of the northernmost segment of the North Spokane Corridor. … 20
Getting There: EWU students’ device to help investigate wrecks
June 4, 2012 in City on Page A1 The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office may soon be able to pinpoint the exact speed a vehicle was going when it crashed thanks to a device created by four Eastern Washington … 1
Getting There: Work on second corridor circle begins
May 21, 2012 in City on Page A1 Construction crews are launching yet another step in the multistage construction of the North Spokane Corridor. Work will start today on a second roundabout on North Freya Street to handle … 4
Getting There: Overpass freeway project’s next step
Jan. 9, 2012 in City on Page A1 The next phase in development of the North Spokane Corridor will begin later this year with construction of a new overpass for Francis Avenue in Hillyard. Money saved on construction … 2
Getting There: U.S. 195, others will get funding priority
Dec. 5, 2011 in City on Page A1 Construction of an interchange on U.S. Highway 195 at Hatch Road could join a list of high-priority projects for future transportation funding in the Spokane region. The other high priorities …
Getting There: Upgraded Keller Ferry expected to run in 2013
Nov. 28, 2011 in City on Page A1 A Seattle shipyard has won a $9 million bid to build a replacement for the small ferry boat that carries traffic across the Columbia River north of Wilbur, Wash. The … 4
Getting There: AAA expects increase in holiday drivers
Nov. 21, 2011 in City, Idaho on Page A1 Last week’s early round of snow and ice may have drivers nervous about venturing out this Thanksgiving. But officials said there is no reason to fear if you are prepared …
Getting There: In case of accident, quickly clear the road
Nov. 14, 2011 in City, Idaho on Page A1 When snow falls, accidents pile up. Authorities say that the best thing drivers can do is move their damaged vehicles out of harm’s way if there are no injuries.