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

License tab fee funds Spokane neighborhood road projects

The city of Spokane is planning work on a big list of small street projects in 2014 that will be funded by a $20 annual license tab fee charged to vehicle owners in the city.

The plan would spend $2.5 million to spread the work across the city so residents in different neighborhoods will see tangible benefit from the fee, City Council members said.

The projects are smaller than the arterial reconstructions the city has undertaken since voters approved a 10-year bond issue in 2004. They include new overlays, crack sealing, chip sealing and new curb ramps.

“It’s a good way to extend the life of our streets,” Councilman Jon Snyder said.

Four larger jobs to grind down broken pavement and lay new asphalt are planned for 2014: They are on Heroy Avenue and Pittsburg Street on the south and east sides of Rogers High School; Arthur Street from Newark to 13th avenues; Downriver Drive from Aubrey L. White Parkway to Columbia Circle; and Excell Avenue from G Street to Audubon Drive.

A second group of street repairs will involve spreading liquid asphalt and then pressing crushed rock into the surface, a process known as chip sealing.

Each of those jobs will repair a number of adjacent blocks:

• Magnolia, Napa and Martin streets from Wellesley to Rowan avenues.

• Sections of seven streets north of Manito Country Club, including Conklin and Arthur streets.

• A group of residential streets bounded by Longfellow Avenue on the north, Ash Street on the east, Garland Avenue on the south and Belt Street to the west.

Less-costly crack sealing will be done at 26th through 28th avenues in the vicinity of Oak Street, Fiske Street at Sinto and Sharp avenues, Myrtle Street and Longfellow, Old Fort Drive, Iroquois Drive, Woodside Avenue at Indian Trail Road and Lindeke Street, Altamont Boulevard, Dakota Street, Napa and Rich Avenue and nearby streets, Thor Street, Olympus Avenue, and 42nd Avenue.

Funding for the program was approved by the City Council in 2010 under a state law that allows local governments to collect the $20 license fees through a transportation benefit district.

The council approved spending $350,000 from those funds to add curb ramps to other construction projects to comply with new federal regulations.

Ben Burr Trail to be discussed

City staffers will be at the Rockwood Neighborhood Council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Hutton Elementary School to talk about plans to improve and extend Ben Burr Trail. Some residents oppose widening the trail from Liberty to Underwood parks because it would involve changes including tree and rock removal.

The plan calls for extending the trail north from Liberty Park to the Centennial Trail.

Southwest expanding use of winglets

Southwest Airlines announced last week it will expand the number of planes it flies with the increasingly common energy-saving winglets at the tips of its planes’ wings.

The company will retrofit 52 Boeing 737-800s and have the winglets installed on 33 other 737-800s that Boeing will deliver this year.

The winglets reduce turbulence at the wing tips, increasing lift on takeoff and fuel efficiency throughout flights. Estimated savings are about 5 percent.

The winglets in Southwest’s order are called “split scimitar winglets,” with two tips that curve above and below each end of the main wing.

Ferry repairs completed

The new MV Sanpoil ferry that crosses Lake Roosevelt at Keller went back into service Friday afternoon after an inspection found that water inside the hull was coming from an internal pipe connection.

The water was found Thursday and the ferry was inspected. Repairs were completed Friday.