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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Road work slows traffic, business

When customers began crying, Mosaic SalonSpa owner Tahleigha Aitchison knew she had to do something.

“Starting out your spa treatment in tears is not a good way to begin,” said Aitchison.

The South Hill salon is on Southeast Boulevard, which has been closed for road construction for more than a month. Finding the winding, alternate route off Rockwood Boulevard was confusing clients, so Aitchison asked the city if she could erect a temporary sign at Rockwood and Conklin to mark the way.

Despite approval from the city, Aitchison’s employees began getting phone calls from an anonymous neighborhood resident who threatened to tear down the sign.

Since an appeal to the neighborhood council, the calls have stopped, but Aitchison still worries about clients finding the salon.

Drivers may think they have it bad, but business owners cut off from their customers really struggle through the construction season.

Business at Power Wash car wash at Garland Avenue and Ash Street has dropped significantly since road crews began work this spring to reconstruct Ash and Maple streets north of Northwest Boulevard, said Manager Lanny Bos.

“It’s just been hurting our business. We’re not getting half the business,” he said.

Construction signs along the Monroe Street detour indicating “car wash open” with an arrow have helped some, but not as much as Bos had hoped.

Engineers try to minimize business impacts as much as possible but are only able to do so much.

Sometimes the best solution is to limit project length. The city of Spokane paid a bonus to the contractor on a 29th Avenue project this year to finish early. The Washington State Department of Transportation decided to close Sullivan for three weeks near Interstate 90 rather than use severely limited lanes for months.

At that point businesses and drivers just repeat the same mantra: “It’s only temporary.”

Goes without saying

It’s unbelievable that each summer there are stories of people leaving small children in hot vehicles.

Last week’s tragedy in Orofino in which a toddler died after being left in a sweltering car for hours, and a similar incident (thankfully not fatal) on Spokane’s North Side did not have to happen.

Then on Friday, a dingbat woman left her young child in a running car at an East Sprague business … in the fire lane. She took off before sheriff’s deputies arrived, according to Detective David Thornburg.

If we can’t count on caregivers to do the right thing, we’ll all have to be vigilant about kids’ safety.

Look into all the cars you pass in parking lots. If children or pets are inside, call police right away.

Slow going

Interstate 90

I-90 has been reduced to two lanes in each direction in downtown Spokane for the viaduct repair project. Speed limits are reduced.

The downtown exits remaining open are eastbound Maple/Walnut, eastbound Division (for southbound traffic only), eastbound Hamilton, westbound Second Avenue, westbound Hamilton and westbound Division.

On-ramps remaining open are eastbound Browne, eastbound Hamilton and westbound Maple.

The Sullivan exits are closed.

North Spokane

Ash Street is closed from Francis Avenue to Northwest Boulevard.

Highway 395/Division and Hastings Road work has created numerous lane restrictions. The speed limit has also been reduced in that area to 35 mph.

Residential street work begins this week in the area of Regal Street and Wellesley Avenue.

Liberty Avenue is closed from Madelia Street to Pittsburg Street, and Pittsburg is closed from North Foothills Drive to Bridgeport Avenue for repaving.

Mill Road is closed from about Addison Road to Arrow Court for sewer work.

Washington Street is restricted from Shannon Avenue to Buckeye and from Boone to Indiana.

South Spokane

Northbound U.S. Highway 195 is reduced to one lane in several places between Spangle and Hatch Road.

Southeast Boulevard is closed from Perry Street to Third Avenue.

Spokane Valley

The railroad crossing at Trent and University is closed today.

Eighth Avenue is closed from Thierman Road to Carnahan until July 23.

Upriver Drive is closed from near Boulder Beach to a few blocks west of Argonne Road. The Centennial Trail is closed along the same stretch.

Highway 27 is reduced to single-lane traffic near 46th Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Idaho

Highway 95 work north of Worley will cause delays between Setters Road and Bellgrove Road as flaggers direct traffic.

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