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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting There: $2.5 million Market Street upgrade in works

Market Street in the Mead area is slated for major improvements starting next year.

The Spokane County commissioners last week accepted a $1.5 million grant from the state to rebuild Market from Farwell Road to Parksmith Drive.

The county will match the grant with $995,000 from the county road fund for the $2.5 million project.

The work comes on the heels of this year’s reconstruction of Farwell Road from the North Spokane Corridor to Market.

Also in the area, the county repaved Bruce Road through Peone Prairie last summer and plans to replace the Bruce Road bridge over Peone Creek next summer.

County Engineer Bob Brueggeman said the Market Street project still needs final design work before the job can be put out to bid. He said the earliest construction could start is midsummer.

The section of Market to be rebuilt carries 8,400 vehicles a day, about 15 percent of which are trucks. The existing 44-foot-wide road is considered substandard.

The proposed new roadway would have one lane in each direction and a center turn lane. It will also be safer for bikes and pedestrians, Brueggeman said.

The state grant is coming from the Transportation Improvement Board, which hands out funding for local roadways and sidewalks.

PEMCO surveys winter driving

Two-thirds of Eastern Washington drivers say they are comfortable driving in winter conditions, according to a new poll from PEMCO Insurance.

That compares with slightly more than half of drivers in Western Washington and Oregon who said they are comfortable driving on snow and ice.

Only 37 percent of Washington drivers carry chains, and half said they have never installed tire chains.

Many drivers carry emergency supplies during winter, but only 20 percent of vehicles are equipped with a shovel in winter, the poll found.

FAA OK with proposed casino

The Federal Aviation Administration has released a study saying the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino in Airway Heights does not pose a danger to air traffic.

In a news release, the tribe said its entertainment, resort and retail project would be no taller than four stories, or about 60 feet.

It is the second time the FAA has issued a no-hazard determination for the project, which is pending before the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and Interior Department, the release said.

Critics of the casino proposal say the development amounts to encroachment on Fairchild Air Force Base.

The project site is northwest of U.S. Highway 2 and Craig Road. The plan calls for a casino-resort facility with a 300-room hotel, parking garage, retail and commercial uses, a tribal center, and a police and fire station.

Electric car driver reaches milestone

State officials today are hosting a media event for the driver of an electric Nissan Leaf that has now gone 100,000 miles. The driver, Steve Marsh, goes 130 miles round-trip daily from home to his job at Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton. The event is set for a gas station and deli market in Tumwater that also has an electric vehicle charging station.

Marsh is going to receive the Governor’s Recognition Award from Gov. Jay Inslee.

The Washington state Department of Transportation said Marsh charges his vehicle at home but also uses public fast-charging stations along the West Coast Electric Highway.

The series of charging stations – on Interstate 5, on I-90 from Cle Elum westward and U.S. Highway 2 from Wenatchee westward – connects with similar facilities in Oregon.

Idaho highway lane restrictions

In Idaho, U.S. Highway 95 north of Coeur d’Alene has lane restrictions from Grove Road to Granite-Kelso Cut-Off Road.

Traffic has been shifted to new southbound lanes while new northbound lanes are under construction. The speed limit is 45 mph.

Idaho state Highway 3 is reduced to a one lane between Willow Creek and Black Rock roads where traffic is being controlled with signals. The highway is undergoing construction.