Spokane city officials are moving ahead with plans to resurface Grand Boulevard this summer, even though they don’t have money to pay for it.
The city is hoping for an increase in the county’s gasoline tax or a surcharge on vehicle licenses to raise the money.
Those proposals are being considered by Spokane County commissioners.
Assistant City Manager Dave Mandyke said the city is willing to sell bonds to raise money if necessary.
The road work will mean severe traffic restrictions on Grand during construction, expected to last from August to October, city officials said.
Traffic between 14th Avenue and 29th Avenue will be limited to a single lane in one direction. Traffic going the other way will be detoured. The plan for rerouting traffic hasn’t been determined. Business owners near 14th and Grand are concerned the traffic restrictions will hurt sales.
A community open house on the project will be held today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the city fire station at 18th and Bernard.
Mandyke and other city officials will explain the $800,000 construction project and alternatives for routing traffic.
The road will be repaved from Eighth and McClellan at Sacred Heart Medical Center to 28th and Grand.
The worst section, from 16th Avenue to 21st Avenue, will be excavated and the roadbed rebuilt.
Plans call for using new rock and filter fabric to prevent ground water from damaging the road in that section.
In the past several years voters have rejected tax increases for street improvements, but the county commissioners are considering an additional 2.3-cent-a-gallon gas tax or a $15 annual surcharge on vehicle licenses to pay for road work, Mandyke said.
Voters would have to approve the gas tax increase, and the license fee could be sent to voters as a referendum.
The city sought to repave Grand in the early 1990s but abandoned the project when business owners objected to a lengthy street closure.
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