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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Airport reusing runway dirt

Don’t bother trying to get your hands on those 300,000 cubic yards of dirt Spokane International Airport recently moved as it extends the main runway by about 2,000 feet.

All that dirt has been or will be reused.

The runway dirt grading project ended this week. Phase two, next year, will involve pouring concrete on the 2,000-foot extension at the southwest end of the runway.

In the meantime, workers are finishing hauling 60,000 cubic yards of dirt from the extension area of the main runway to a nearby airport holding site.

That mound of dirt is destined to be recycled on a different project at the far opposite – or northeast end – of the same main runway. That project starts in 2011.

Those two main runway projects have different purposes: The extension will make the runway 11,000 feet long, once concrete is poured next spring.

To get the ground ready, roughly 240,000 cubic yards of dirt were shoveled around and redistributed to make the extension as level as possible – not always simple to do on the wavy West Plains.

Much of the work on the extension involved moving dirt from one edge of the runway to the other.

“We did a lot of flopping around with that dirt,” said airport director of engineering Dan Johnson. The south or lower side edge of the runway extension was too high and dirt from that side was moved to the northern, upper edge, to level off the ground.

The other main runway project, due to start in 2011, is where the stored 60,000 cubic yards of dirt will be reused.

The dirt mound will be saved and eventually mixed with crushed concrete, coming from a different work project at the main concourses. The mix will become the base layer for lifting the southwest end of the main runway to fix line-of-sight concerns near the airport’s cargo handling area.

That end of the runway will need to be raised by up to five feet, airport spokesman Todd Woodard said.

The crushed concrete for that job comes from the removal of 1960s-vintage concrete apron around the airport’s A and B concourses. The concrete is cracking and needs to be replaced, Woodard said.

New concrete around the concourses is already being poured and will be finished in 2010, he said.

New owners, Soulful Soups

Three partners have purchased closed downtown Spokane restaurant Soulful Soups and plan to reopen it next month.

It will sport a slightly different name: Soulful Soups and Spirits, at the same address: 117 N. Howard St.

Partners R.J. Portmann, Julles Messmann and Jason Vedadi are remodeling and getting the kitchen and seating area ready for a soft launch the second week of October.

Portmann said hours and daytime menu fare will be much the same as previous owner Makayla Hamilton had.

In the evenings, the place will add lighter food options and beer, wine and spirits. Evening food will include “light international fare.”

Look for a formal grand opening at the end of October, Portmann said.

Party rental shop reopening

T&R Party & Event Rentals went up in flames back in July. The Spokane privately owned party- and wedding-item rental shop breaks out the balloons soon as it prepares to reopen in new digs.

Owner Patricia Bradley said her relocated business will reopen within two weeks at 2001 N. Division St., the former space used by Davis Office Equipment.

The fire on July 1 gutted her previous location at 1723 E. Francis Ave.

Bradley plans a grand opening later this fall. She’s signed a five-year lease for the 7,200-square-foot building on Division. Leasing agent was Marshall Clark.

Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail business@spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5528.
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