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
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.
U.S. 2, meet your newest neighbor
Nov. 2, 2011 in City on Page A1 The key interchange on the North Spokane Corridor at U.S. Highway 2 will open next Wednesday, making the existing travel lanes more useful with a new high-speed connection between the … 12
Getting There: Valley seeks input on redesigning Park Road
Oct. 3, 2011 in City on Page A1 Spokane Valley is asking for the public’s help in designing a newer, rebuilt version of Park Road from Indiana to Broadway avenues. An open house about the project is set …
Corridor funding may hit dead end
Sept. 4, 2011 in City on Page A1 As the northern half of the north Spokane freeway nears completion, state transportation officials say there is no clear route to financing the hugely expensive southern half. Nearly $600 million … 26
Support for road and transit fixes wanes at wallet
April 18, 2011 in City on Page A1 Transportation projects enjoy wide public support in Spokane, but that support drops when people are asked if they would pay specific taxes for them. A survey of 353 respondents in … 20
House, Senate panels close on transportation budget
March 23, 2011 in City on Page A8 OLYMPIA – The two legislative committees trying to decide how to spend nearly $9 billion on transportation over the next two years “largely agree” on how to spend it, Sen. …
House panel won’t put gas tax hike on ballot this year
March 22, 2011 in City on Page A1 OLYMPIA – Washington voters will not be asked to raise gas taxes or any other tax related to roads this fall. 2012, however, could be different. As they announced the … 22
Steam system cures concrete faster, saves company money
Feb. 7, 2011 in City on Page A1 A Spokane Valley company that plays a key role in building highways across the Western U.S. has found a way to save significant amounts of energy at its manufacturing plant. …
Open houses to address projects planned for Grand, Mission
Jan. 31, 2011 in City on Page A1 The seventh year of Spokane’s street reconstruction program is kicking off this week with the first of two open houses on work planned for the year. Residents living near Grand …
Old rail cars become fire and rescue training tool
Dec. 20, 2010 in City on Page A1 Kootenai County Fire and Rescue in Post Falls is upgrading its training facility with the help of the railroad. On Sunday, a construction contractor and the fire department moved two … 2