It’s good news or bad news, depending on your point of view.
The Spokane area is getting $14 million in funding for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Interstate 90 viaduct project as part of Washington’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan.
The two-year project will repair the ruts and other damage caused by traffic on the viaduct over downtown Spokane. But it will also mean lane and exit closures during the summer months of 2006 and 2007.
Some of that $14 million was originally intended for the West Side’s Hood Canal bridge replacement, but complications involving a Native American burial ground shut down part of the work, freeing up money for other projects.
Driving home late Wednesday night last week, Getting There really felt for the crews out unclogging drains in the pouring rain. In some spots along Sprague and Dishman-Mica, workers were contending with near-lake-size pools of water.
And the poor pedestrians really had to be wary of getting drenched with water kicked up by passing motorists. Take care while driving during snow melts, please.
And if you need to report a clogged storm drain, call (509) 625-7900 in the city of Spokane, or (509) 477-3604 in Spokane County or Spokane Valley.
Coeur d’Alene residents can call (208) 769-2233.
Here’s an idea for a new business. Now that the Transportation Security Administration is allowing manicure scissors on board planes, how about offering in-flight manicures?
It’s about time the TSA changed its ruling on this item. The little scissors barely cut fingernails; they’re not going to do much damage to anything else.
Other items now allowed on planes include small tools, but that Leatherman still must stay at home.
Seat belt slip
Hawaii narrowly beat out Washington in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest tally of seat belt use across the nation.
In Hawaii, 95.3 percent of motorists used belts this year compared to 95.2 percent in Washington.
Idaho drivers were far less likely to use their seat belts, with just 76 percent buckling up.
That’s still better than Mississippi’s 60.8 percent seat belt rate, but there’s still room for substantial improvement in the Gem State.
The main difference between NHTSA’s top-ranked states and those lower on the list, like Idaho, is what kind of infraction law enforcement can issue to unbelted motorists.
States with primary seat belt laws (where motorists can be pulled over and ticketed for not buckling up) had higher compliance rates than states like Idaho where tickets are issued only in conjunction with other driving infractions.
The Washington State Patrol is out in force through the New Year’s holiday looking for those driving impaired.
The patrols started in mid-November.
By early last week, troopers had already arrested 272 people in this area who thought they could get away with driving drunk or while on drugs.
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