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

Getting There: Spokane airport buys land near future runway

From Staff Reports

Spokane International Airport is expanding its land holdings to the southwest with the acquisition of 844 acres of unimproved land off the end of a future runway.

Louisa Mager of Park West Properties Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., contacted the airport and offered to sell the land. The $2.35 million sale price is 2 percent above a market appraisal, said Todd Woodard, airport spokesman.

This graphic shows the land in question. The story continues below.

The purchase follows a long-standing airport policy of acquiring available land near its perimeter to prevent encroachment into its accident potential zones and areas affected by jet noise.

The land is north of state Highway 902 to Medical Lake. It lies mainly in the path of a future runway being planned for land northwest of the existing main runway.

The airport is using proceeds from its general revenues to make the purchase, but will seek reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration under that agency’s airport improvement program.

Woodard said in an email that the “land has partial eligibility related to future safety areas, approach protection and noise compatibility zones.”

Spokane Airport Director Lawrence Krauter said construction of a new runway is at least 15 to 20 years off.

Earlier this year, the airport purchased 400 acres of land east of Fairchild Air Force Base from the county for $1.75 million. The land was held by the county after realignment of the Geiger Spur rail line, which took the feeder tracks off Fairchild property

The Spokane Airport Board is also acquiring a single home lot off the northeast end of the runways at Felts Field. In 2012, the board purchased 6.9 acres near Felts for $2 million.

The airport is also planning to spend $38 million next year on capital projects, including improvements to taxiways. One of the main improvements will be construction of high-speed exit ramps so that jets can get off the runway and to terminal gates more quickly.

Krauter said the faster exit ramps will increase capacity for takeoffs and landings.

Council OKs more license plate readers

The Spokane City Council has approved spending $81,000 in federal grant money to buy three more license plate readers.

The readers have been instrumental in a Police Department effort to reduce car thefts, Chief Frank Straub said. They can also be helpful in criminal investigations.

The chief told the council that he wants to place two of the new readers at fixed locations on busy arterials, but he did not disclose the locations.

The Police Department currently has five of the readers on patrol cars.

City to try snow berm control

Spokane Street Department Director Mark Serbousek told the City Council last week that one of the city’s graders will be equipped with a snow gate when the city undertakes a full residential snow plowing.

He said he wants to study how much more in fuel and time it costs to operate the gates, which would be lowered at driveways, alleys and intersections to prevent snow berms from blocking access.

With that information, he said, he wants to ask if the public is willing to pay the extra costs to restore the service, which was eliminated years ago.

Serbousek did not say where the grader would be deployed.

Traffic restrictions in store for mall

With the holiday shopping season approaching, River Park Square has announced its plans for traffic control at its parking garage on Spokane Falls Boulevard at Post Street.

Santa is scheduled to arrive Friday, so special traffic controls will be in place from 6 to 10 p.m. that day.

One of the westbound lanes will be closed to regular traffic, and the designated lane will be used to provide access to and from the garage. Flaggers will be posted to control traffic.

Traffic control there returns Nov. 29, which is Black Friday, from 2 to 8 p.m. and Nov. 30 from 1 to 7 p.m.

The flaggers will also be posted on Dec. 13, 14, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 26 during afternoon and early evening hours.

Browne’s Addition leaf removal

City crews will remove leaves from the north-south streets in Browne’s Addition on Tuesday. The east-west streets in the neighborhood will be cleared Wednesday. The city warns that cars parked on the street during the designated times will be towed.

Street and lane closures

Main Avenue in downtown Spokane will be closed from Washington to Bernard streets starting today for installation of a new sewer line. It is expected to reopen Friday.

The right lane of southbound Monroe Street just north of the Spokane River bridge will continue to be closed during the day through Nov. 29.