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
Clark: Traveling north/south freeway a religious experience
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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
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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
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Getting There: Work on second corridor circle begins
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Getting There: Overpass freeway project’s next step
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Getting There: U.S. 195, others will get funding priority
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Getting There: AAA expects increase in holiday drivers
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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
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Support for road and transit fixes wanes at wallet
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House, Senate panels close on transportation budget
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House panel won’t put gas tax hike on ballot this year
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Open houses to address projects planned for Grand, Mission
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