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Thursday, June 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Getting There

Ben Burr begins

Drum roll, please. The Ben Burr trail in East Central Spokane finally has a bid for the work to lengthen and pave the former rail route.

I say finally because the project has been discussed for 20 years and was intended to begin last year, but due to some property issues it was delayed. But now, N&N Excavation from Mead put in a $1.1 million bid for the work, about $250,000 less than what city engineers expected it to cost.

When complete, the trail will be a paved multi-use path similar to stretches of the Centennial Trail. It will start at the south side of Underhill Park, follow the current path of the gravel trail, go underneath Interstate 90 and Sprague Avenue, and follow Erie to the river’s edge, where it will run west to meet with the Centennial Trail. 

The trail has been contentious for some of its neighbors, who wanted it to remain unpaved. The city had received grants to mitigate air pollution, however, which required a paved trail to encourage people to not drive to work or errands. The city did agree to some modifications to the route and to remove fewer trees.

The City Council will vote on N&N's low bid Monday. Also on Monday, the council will vote to approve nearly $680,000 in residential street repair. The grind and overlay work is funded by the city's vehicle license fee.

The low bid for this work was from Shamrock Paving.

From the city:

More specifically, the project will taper grind seven feet next to the curb in order to provide a finished four inch to six inch curb reveal. Various sections will be patched full depth. Finally, a two inch asphalt overlay will be applied to the entire road, curb to curb. Curb ramps will also be upgraded.

And here are some maps showing where the work will take place. In northwest Spokane:

In northeast and the South Hill:

More on the South Hill:

Nicholas Deshais
Joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is the urban issues reporter, covering transportation, housing, development and other issues affecting the city. He also writes the Getting There transportation column and The Dirt, a roundup of construction projects, new businesses and expansions. He previously covered Spokane City Hall.

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