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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Project to replace lighting on Interstate 90 almost complete

A $1.1 million project to replace 1970s-era sodium vapor lights along Interstate 90 with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes is in the final stages. (Jesse Tinsley)
A $1.1 million project to replace 1970s-era sodium vapor lights along Interstate 90 with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes is in the final stages. (Jesse Tinsley)

When workers finish construction along Interstate 90 from Liberty Park to Havana Street this fall, drivers will see it in a different light.

The state this year is finishing a project to replace lighting along I-90 from the Latah Creek Bridge on the west to Havana Street on the east with modern light-emitting diode lamps.

This year’s work involves the segment from Liberty Park to Havana.

LED lights replace lighting that dates back to the early 1970s. The new lights will use 40 percent less electricity, and they need less maintenance because the lamps keep working for 15 years or more.

Colvico Inc., of Spokane, is under a $1.1 million contract for the job, which involves installation of 82 lamps and poles.

Part of the work includes installation of new electrical conduit along the shoulders.

That required removal of old landscaping and much of the irrigation system installed when the freeway was built. New and efficient irrigation will be installed.

The old juniper bush landscape is being replaced with three types of grasses – a bluebunch wheat grass called Anatone, bottlebrush squirreltail and Idaho fescue.

The wheat grass was named the state’s official grass during Washington’s centennial celebration in 1989.

Sections that had been turf are being replaced with new turf.

Last year, work was completed on new lighting from Division to the Liberty Park interchange. That job involved installation of five 100-foot-tall light poles at the Liberty Park interchange, which serves Hamilton Street. Each of the tall poles holds six separate lamps, which are equipped with pulley systems for easier maintenance, engineers said.

The project in Spokane is among the earliest conversions to LED lighting on Washington state highways. The LED lights offer a brighter and whiter type of light compared with the older sodium vapor lamps.

Holophane, the manufacturer chosen by the state for the LED highway lights, said its product enhances visual comfort and safety for drivers.

Completion of this year’s work is expected next month.

U.S. 2 repaving near airport continues

Repaving continues along U.S. Highway 2 from I-90 westward to Espanola Road. Flint Road, which is getting a new intersection and traffic light, remains closed south of U.S. 2. It will become a safer access road to Spokane International Airport once it opens.

In addition, crews are doing maintenance this week on bridges that make up the interchange of U.S. 2 and Airport Drive. Drivers should look for lane restrictions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I-90 sign repair near University Road

I-90 in the vicinity of University Road will have westbound lane restrictions tonight and Tuesday night for repairs on a messaging sign.

Westbound traffic will be reduced to a single lane starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until about 6 a.m. on both nights.

Keller Ferry still out for repairs

The Keller Ferry, which developed a hairline crack last week, continues to remain out of service pending repairs. The MV Sanpoil went into service in August 2013, replacing the Martha S.

It carries traffic across Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River on state Highway 21, serving the Colville Indian Reservation and Ferry County.

Spokane Valley road closures

In Spokane Valley, Eighth Avenue from McKinnon to Fancher roads has been closed for repaving work.

Repaving work continues along Sprague Avenue from Vista to Herald roads. Traffic has been reduced to two lanes there.

Valleyfest on Friday will result in the closure of Sprague from University to Pines roads from 6 to 10 p.m. for the Hearts of Gold parade.

Adams Road from Broadway to Mission avenues will be closed today until 7 p.m. for paving.

Road projects around Spokane

In Spokane, one lane of Ruby Street between Desmet and Boone avenues may be closed this week for construction.

On Tuesday, crews will be repairing a traffic signal at Hawthorne Road and Division Street from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lane restrictions will be in place during the work.

Construction in downtown Spokane continues to cause a variety of closures and lane restrictions.

Water main replacement on Kendick Avenue west of Nine Mile Road is also causing traffic restrictions.

The Greene Street Bridge is down to one lane in each direction for another water main project.

A four-way stop has been installed temporarily at 10th Avenue and Madison Street to help with traffic around Huckleberry’s market. The construction closure of Lincoln and Monroe streets from Seventh to 17th avenues is forcing drivers to find detours.

High Drive remains closed from 29th Avenue to Bernard Street for another construction project on the roadway and utility services.

Grand Boulevard repaving and maintenance is nearly finished and the roadway is open.

Francis Avenue from Division to Crestline still has crews working on new pavement.

I-90 rock blasting starting earlier

Hourlong weekday rock blasting on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass will begin at 6:30 p.m. this week. The work has been going on throughout the construction season, but the time has been moved up because of shorter daylight periods in September. The work to remove rock from cliffs along the freeway is being done as part of the widening to six lanes east of the pass.

State Highway 20 to be U.S. bike route

State Highway 20 from Newport in Pend Oreille County to Anacortes on Puget Sound is being designated as U.S. Bike Route 10, part of an emerging national bike route system, state officials said last week.

The highway crosses the North Cascades and passes through Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties. In addition to crossing the Cascades, the route climbs over the Kettle Range between Republic and Kettle Falls where it reaches an elevation of 5,575 feet at Sherman Pass.

The League of American Bicyclists estimates that bike tourism generates $160 million annually for bike stores in Washington state. The broader economy benefits by $650 million in spending for bike travel in the state, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

Barb Chamberlain, executive director of Washington Bikes and a former Spokane resident, said in a news release that bicycle touring is bringing business “to small towns that welcome those wallets on wheels.”

Riverpoint buildings being demolished

Demolition of empty warehouses is underway at the intersection of Pine Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard. For now, new parking and landscaping will replace the warehouses on the Riverpoint campus. Sidewalk restrictions may be in place during the work.

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