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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Getting There: Highway 95 upgrade slated for major work

Projects to widen, realign 12 miles to commence this year

A long-term effort to widen and improve U.S. Highway 95 north of Coeur d’Alene will take a major step forward this year.

Two important segments will undergo construction in the vicinity of Silverwood Theme Park and Athol.

The Idaho Department of Transportation is planning to build three interchanges at Chilco Road, Bunco/Brunner Road serving Silverwood, and Athol.

The $57 million worth of work should be completed in 2013 and make a highway that has seen steady traffic growth over the years safer.

Traffic through Silverwood will be diverted onto a new frontage road east of the parking area, which is on the east side of U.S. 95.

In Athol, a new interchange and highway alignment will be built to the east of the existing commercial strip, which currently serves as the highway.

Eventually, the existing highway will be turned into a local road serving residents and businesses. The new highway segment will be accessible from a new interchange also serving state Highway 54.

“That will be totally controlled access,” said Andrea Storjohann, ITD engineer on the projects.

Work will extend to the Granite Hill area where a new left-turn lane and highway alignment will be built with a safer intersection for Homestead Road.

Widening to four lanes has already been completed from Wyoming Road to a new frontage road in the vicinity of Ohio Match Road.

More than $15 million was spent on those projects in recent years.

In addition, Sagle saw $2 million in safety improvements.

The money so far is coming from a statewide funding plan that uses incoming federal highway money to repay borrowing for big projects, including the U.S. 95 work.

The long-range plan calls for nine more interchanges and millions of dollars in additional construction. Funding has not been identified for continuing the improvements, but part of the design work and an environmental impact statement are completed.

Open house to cover work on Sprague

Spokane Valley residents and property owners are invited to a public open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Veradale United Church of Christ, 611 N. Progress Road, to talk about reconstruction of Sprague Avenue from Evergreen to Sullivan roads.

The project will include reconstruction of the roadbed and new pavement, sidewalks and pedestrian ramps, storm water and utility upgrades and signal improvements at Progress and Adams roads.

Work should take about 12 weeks. City engineering workers want to work with business and property owners on commercial-access issues during construction.

Meeting set on fairness of WSDOT contracts

Another public meeting is set from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at Washington State Department of Transportation regional offices at 2714 N. Mayfair St. to talk about fairness in WSDOT contracting activities.

Vendors, contractors, industry representatives and others who do transportation-related work are invited to attend. The Spokane meeting is one of five planned around the state this month.

Connell Oil wins top-tier marketer status

Connell Oil Co. in Spokane Valley has won a top-tier marketer status from ConocoPhillips Co. for product quality, safety, environmental protection and efficiency, the company said.

Connell Oil is based in Pasco with six locations in Eastern and Central Washington, according to its website.

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