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

Taxiway upgrade to close Spokane airport’s main runway

Taxiway construction at Spokane International Airport has reached a stage at which the contractor needs to move into the main runway’s safety zone.

As a result, the airport will close the main runway Tuesday morning through Sept. 23.

A contractor is finishing construction of new “high-speed exits” commonly used in airports today. Those taxiways are built diagonally between the runway and terminal apron to allow aircraft to move more quickly toward the terminals after landing, saving time and fuel.

Closing the main runway means that planes will be using the alternate runway. That brings planes into the airport from over the South Hill when the wind is blowing from the west as well as departing from the airport when the wind blows from the east.

William Winkler Co., of Spokane, is doing the work under a $12 million contract.

The closure of the main runway is required because the work is within the safety zone that extends 250 feet on either side of the runway center line.

The alternate runway, at 8,199 feet in length, is usable this time of year because cooler temperatures allow for shorter takeoffs under full loads.

The main runway is 11,002 feet long.

During the week of Sept. 24, the airport may close the main runway during nighttime hours.

Work on the taxiways started in 2013 and will continue with a final phase next year.

Last month, the Spokane Airport Board approved a $7.8 million contract with Acme Concrete Paving Inc., of Spokane, to complete the taxiway construction.

Acme had bid on the initial contract for the work but lost in the competition with Winkler.

Ninety percent of the work is being financed through the Federal Aviation Administration’s airport improvement program, which is derived from ticket fees.

The 10 percent local match comes from Spokane airport proceeds generated by parking, concessions and other income.

Deficiencies in the former taxiway configuration were identified during the airport’s recent master plan.

“The reconfiguration of the taxiways will enhance the safety, efficiency and overall usability of the airfield by providing taxiway designs that meet current FAA standards,” an airport news release stated last week.

Cyclists taking to roads for SpokeFest

The seventh annual SpokeFest is riding on Sunday, causing road closures and restrictions on the 21-mile course along the Spokane River.

Riders will be on the course from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The course goes from downtown to Government Way and continues along the Centennial Trail, returning downtown on Aubrey White Parkway, Pettet Drive, Summit Boulevard and the Centennial Trail.

Streets on the first 2 miles will be closed from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Limited access will be allowed on other parts of the course.

Drivers are asked to watch out for cyclists.

“SpokeFest is a non-profit organization which supports bicycle education, bicycle safety and promotes the many beneficial uses of bicycles including commuting and transportation, and their role in healthy lifestyles and outdoor activity,” the organization said in a news release.

Bluff access point will be blocked

One of the access points to the network of trails on the bluff overlooking Latah Creek is being closed.

A pull-off area at 57th Avenue and Hatch Road will be blocked by the property owner of the Tuscan Ridge housing project below the bluff.

A roadway from the pull-off into the property has been popular with walkers and cyclists.

The Friends of the Bluff organization had sought to have the 23-acre piece of land purchased under the Spokane County Conservation Futures fund.

Work closures set for U.S. 2 ramps

Repaving the interchange serving Spokane International Airport at U.S. Highway 2 continues today.

U.S. 2 may see lane reductions at the interchange from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

No ramp closures are planned tonight through Thursday night.

However, a closure of the eastbound on-ramp from Airport Drive to U.S. 2 is planned for 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday.

On Friday night, the westbound off-ramp from U.S. Highway 2 to westbound Sunset Highway will be closed from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday.

Also, the westbound on-ramp from Sunset Boulevard to U.S. 2 and the eastbound connection from Airport Drive to Sunset Highway will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday.

The work at the interchange is part of a larger repaving project on U.S. 2 from Interstate 90 to Espanola Road. Most of the work is being done during evening and early morning hours. Lane restrictions are possible.

Valley road work leads to closures

In Spokane Valley, Eighth Avenue from McKinnon to Fancher roads is closed for resurfacing through mid-September.

Repaving work also continues along the Sprague Avenue corridor between University and Vista roads. The work will cause nighttime closures from Tuesday night through Thursday morning on Sprague from Willow to Marguerite roads; Mullan Road from Appleway to Sprague; and Argonne Road from Main Avenue to Appleway.